LOCAL NEWS

Salt Lake County Health Department warns of harmful myrtle spurge plant

Mar 27, 2024, 3:36 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm

Myrtle Spurge...

Myrtle Spurge

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department is urging residents to avoid an invasive and harmful weed called myrtle spurge.

The plant was originally introduced to Utah as a decorative plant but is an invasive species that has spread to natural areas.

According to SL County Health Department, “You will encounter it in many of our city’s natural areas. It is harmful to both plants and wildlife. this plant should not be touched or removed without proper safety precautions.”

It is often touted as deer-resistant and drought-tolerant, but the plant is rapidly invading foothills and wild lands along the Wasatch Front.

The plant has blue-green triangular-shaped leaves with milky latex sap and during spring and summer months, they have small flowers with yellow bracts. The plant spreads through seeds and are capable of projecting its seeds up to 15 feet.

Myrtle Spurge contains a white sap that results in rashes, redness, swelling, and blisters. People should avoid getting the sap on their skin or eyes to avoid major irritation. If contact does occur, flush the area with water thoroughly.

Myrtle Spurge is listed as a noxious weed and is restricted for selling within the state of Utah.

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Salt Lake County Health Department warns of harmful myrtle spurge plant