Purge the Spurge and Sock the Rocket through June 6

Noxious weed mitigation program eyes Myrtle and Cypress surge, Dame's Rocket

April 30, 2018

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – Spring in Garfield County means it’s time to start mitigating invasive Myrtle and Cypress spurge, and Dame’s rocket. Garfield County Vegetation Management is urging residents to keep an eye out for these noxious weeds, and to take part in the Purge the Spurge/Sock the Rocket program, which offers $20 vouchers toward landscape or garden plants at the Mountain Valley Greenhouse in Glenwood Springs in exchange for pulled spurges and Dame’s rocket.
The program runs through June 6, and interested residents can sign up by calling Garfield County Vegetation Management at (970) 379-4456; Colorado State University (CSU) Extension office at (970) 625-3969; or the Bookcliff, Mount Sopris, and South Side conservation districts at (970) 404-3438.

Before you pull the plants, please verify that you have one of the spurges or Dame’s Rocket with a project sponsor listed below. One option is to email a photo of the suspected plant to a project sponsor. Photos of the weeds are also available on the Garfield County Vegetation Management webpage at www.garfield-county.com/vegetation-management/noxious-weed-list.

All three noxious weeds were originally imported as ornamental garden plants. They readily escape the confines of the garden or lawn and invade areas of native vegetation.

The spurges emit a white sap that may irritate the skin, so gloves, long sleeves and long pants are recommended, and at least four inches of the roots should be removed. Dame’s rocket has a showy purple flower and grows up to four feet tall. It is widely distributed in “wildflower” seed mixes.

These weeds have been found around Garfield County, including in most of our municipalities, but also in rural areas, such as Peach Valley and Silt Mesa. The Dame’s rocket has been found in the No Name area of Glenwood Canyon; along Midland Avenue in Glenwood Springs; and in Castle Valley in New Castle.

“This program has helped increase awareness on the myrtle and cypress spurge – and hopefully Dame’s rocket – problem throughout the county,” said Garfield County Vegetation Manager Steve Anthony. “We appreciate all the help from our residents in our efforts to eradicate these three noxious weeds.”

To earn the voucher, residents must pull and bag these noxious weeds, and have them verified by a program sponsor – Garfield County Vegetation Management; CSU Extension or CSU Master Gardeners; Mountain Valley Greenhouse; the city of Glenwood Springs; or the aforementioned conservation districts. A $20 voucher is available for each 13-pound bag of the noxious weeds received.

This is a wonderful opportunity to rid your yard of noxious weeds, and to get some new plants in your landscape. Please contact Garfield County Vegetation Management with questions at 970-945-1377, ext. 4305.