Annual ‘Purge the Spurge’ weed pull underway

Program aims to remove non-native, noxious weeds in Garfield County

April 20, 2017

Myrtle spurge in bloom in Garfield County
Myrtle spurge in bloom in Garfield County Photo by Ann Larson
Cypress spurge growing in potted application.
Cypress spurge growing in potted application. Photo by Steve Dewey

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The sixth-annual Purge the Spurge event is now underway through June 30. Garfield County invites residents to pull two highly invasive noxious weeds – myrtle and cypress spurge. Both are non-natives originally imported as ornamental garden plants. They readily escape the confines of the garden or lawn and invade areas of native vegetation. These plants thrive on south-facing, rocky slopes.

Here’s how it works: pull and bag your spurge and contact a sponsor listed below. The sponsor will give you a voucher that you can redeem for landscape or garden plants at the Mountain Valley Greenhouse in Glenwood Springs. Each 30-gallon garbage bag of myrtle and cypress spurge may be redeemed for $20 worth of plants at Mountain Valley.

Try to remove at least four inches of the root. Collect the plants in a plastic bag. Be aware that the milky sap of both plants can cause skin irritation, so wear gloves, long sleeves and long pants when pulling. To dispose of the bagged spurge, once it has been verified by a sponsor, place the pulled, bagged spurge into a trash receptacle.

“This program has helped increase awareness on the myrtle and cypress spurge problem throughout the county from Carbondale to Battlement Mesa,” said Garfield County Vegetation Manager Steve Anthony. “We appreciate all the help from our residents in our efforts to eradicate these two noxious weeds.”

To sign up, contact one of the event sponsors: Garfield County Vegetation Management, 970-945-1377, ext. 4305; Colorado State University Extension, 970-625-3969; or the Bookcliff, Mount Sopris and South Side Conservation Districts, 970-404-3450.

Also sponsoring this year’s event are CSU Master Gardeners, Mountain Valley Greenhouse, and the City of Glenwood Springs