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Myrtle spurge (Euphorbia myrsinites) is currently blooming in neighborhoods west of Cedaredge. This weed is in the same family as the highly invasive leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula).
Myrtle spurge has recently been designated as a List A noxious weed by Colorado Department of Agriculture and is targeted for eradication. This perennial weed is often found in rock gardens and is moving into natural areas where it has the potential to do enormous environmental damage. The plant has trailing stems with fleshy blue-green alternate leaves. Myrtle spurge is also commonly called donkey-tail spurge.
This species is not yet widespread in Colorado, and should be a priority for immediate eradication if found. As with other plants which reproduce solely by seed, integrated management efforts of myrtle spurge must include the elimination of seed production and the depletion of the seed bank. Combine herbicide or mechanical removal of rosettes with removal of flowering parts from any plants that have bolted.
Although easily removed by shovel, this member of the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae), contains a milky sap that is caustic to skin and eyes. Rubber gloves should be worn when pulling this plant. Hands should be washed after handling this plant. The most effective herbicide is picloram, trade name Tordon. Tordon RTU (ready to use) is available at Grand Mesa Discount and Wilbur Ellis (formerly Schall Chemical.) No license is required. Do not use large amounts under trees. That could damage the tree.