myrtlespurge.gifIt’s that time of year again, the time when we see one of our earliest blooming noxious weeds popping up in people’s gardens all over town. Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) is on list A of the Colorado Noxious Weed List. This means we still have a chance to eradicate it if we get serious about it, and we are legally required to remove it from our landscapes. Hence, El Paso County, the City of Colorado Springs, and the Colorado Weed Association are sponsoring a “Purge Your Spurge” event on May 7 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Bear Creek Regional Park.

Just bring your myrtle and/or cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissius) plants to the swap, and you’ll receive free native plants to use as replacements. Some of the plants to be distributed include desert four o’clock (Mirabilis multiflora), Rocky Mountain penstemon (Penstemon strictus), and cowboy’s delight (Sphaeralcea coccinea).

**Be very careful digging up your spurge. Wear rubber gloves and place the plants securely in plastic bags. These plants secrete an irritating white liquid that you don’t want on your hands.**

You can learn more about both of these spurges and see photos at the Colorado Noxious Weed List web site:
www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/Agriculture-Main/CDAG/1174084048733

See more information on this event and a map to the collection point on the event’s flyer at http://adm.elpasoco.com/Environmental%20Division/Documents/Purge%20Your%20Spurge%20Flyer.pdf

Contributed by Carey Harrington, Certified Colorado Gardener

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