Myrtle Spurge Weed Pulling Date

Myrtle Spurge Weed Pulling Date

Welcome to spring. Myrtle Spurge, (Euphorbia myrsinites) is a perennial often seen in Idaho xeriscapes and rock gardens due to its hardy nature and succulent properties. However, this attractive fleshy plant is one to avoid. Myrtle Spurge is registered as a List ‘A’ Noxious Weed Species in the Colorado Noxious Weed Act, and is designated for statewide eradication. It is considered an escaped ornamental in Idaho and can be seen lining the hillsides of Rocky Canyon Road and invading open spaces like Hulls Gulch, Table Rock, and Military Reserve.

The invasive nature of Myrtle Spurge is a cause for concern. It is a rapidly spreading perennial that is capable of spreading and projecting it’s seeds up to 15 ft from its host. As it spreads, it takes over other native vegetation that is crucial for the survival of foraging wildlife.  Once projected from the host, the seeds can stay reserved in the soil for up to eight years. Myrtle Spurge possesses a very toxic milky sap that can cause severe skin irritation and blisters. If ingested, this plant can cause severe stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. This plant is not only poisonous for us, but for pets as well, so please be sure to keep them away from any Myrtle Spurge growing on your property.

There is a robust population of myrtle spurge in Cottonwood Creek in Military Reserve. For those of you interested, let’s purge the spurge on 4/16/2018 from 4:30 – 6pm. The plant is flowering and has not yet set seed, so now is the ideal time to remove it. We will meet at the Freestone Trailhead, which is up Mountain Cove road and located at the parking lot with the permanent restroom. I will provide some shovels and gloves, but please bring a favorite tool or garden gloves if you have them. Sign up for this event by logging into you City of Boise volunteer account, look under opportunities, scroll down to “Weed Warrior”, and sign up for the 4/16 4:30pm shift. Don’t hesitate to email or call with questions or concerns. If you don’t have an account, sign up here, and send me an email that you would like to participate. I will get you set up.

Thanks again for caring about open spaces and invasive species.


Myrtle Spurge Picture