Burns, blisters, and blindness: Stay away from this noxious weed in Utah’s mountains

Local News

Myrtle spurge (Utah DWR)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Wildlife officials are warning Utahns about a dangerous noxious weed that can cause burns, blisters, and even blindness.

You’ve likely seen it if you live along the Wasatch Front. With blue-green leaves and yellow flowers reminiscent of a suction cup ball, the myrtle spurge was once sold as ground cover because it flourishes in arid regions, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

DWR shared these photos of the plant, the blistering it can cause, and crews removing bagful’s of myrtle spurge:

After being planted in many gardens, the noxious weed has since spread into the foothills and mountains, negatively impacting wildlife habitats.

If touched, the weed’s sap can cause severe burning, blisters, and blindness. It is especially dangerous to children and pets, according to Utah DWR.

DWR has hired contractors to remove 100% of myrtle spurge on about 50 acres of Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City Parks property at the mouth of Parley’s Canyon.

They shared the below photos showing the before and after of the removal of the myrtle spurge:

Use the below slider to compare the before and after photos

Photos courtesy Utah DWR
Photos courtesy Utah DWR

For more on Utah’s noxious weeds program, click here.

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