Sunday, April 28, 2013


The native wildflowers are still trying to recover from the recent snows, but one non-native invader is already flowering.  Myrtle Spurge (Euphorbia myrcinites) used to be sold in nurseries because it's a drought-tolerant succulent that thrives in Colorado. Unfortunately, it is also poisonous and spreads quickly, reducing native grasses and food plants.  I've seen it blooming already in many gardens in Green Mountain.  It's probably been there for years, and continues to thrive.  It has been designated for eradication as a List A Noxious Weed.  Here's what the Department of Agriculture says about it:

"Myrtle spurge contains a toxic, milky sap which can cause severe skin irritations, including blistering. This plant is poisonous if ingested; causing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Wearing gloves, long sleeves, shoes, and eye protection is highly recommended when in contact with myrtle spurge, as all plant parts are considered poisonous." 

It's not hard to remove when the soil is damp, and now's the time to do it, before it goes to seed!
Myrtle Spurge  (Euphorbia myrcinites)

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