BOISE, Idaho — With the temperatures rising and warmer days ahead, there will be more people out recreating in the foothills, but a nice hike on the trails could go awry if you come in contact with a toxic invasive plant.
One of the most relevant noxious plants right now is Myrtle Spurge - an invasive noxious plant all over the Northwest, including Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
It's a light green weed that has yellow flowers on it during spring.
This plant is only poisonous to the touch; you won't get sick or have an allergic reaction just from smell.
It's the sap inside the branches that can burn, blister, cause swelling, and potentially blind you if you get it in your eyes.
“When you break the branches there is this leaky, milky sap that comes from the plant and it's that sap that is caustic," said Martha Brabec, foothills restoration specialist for Boise Parks and Recreation. "If you break the plants' branches and you get that sap on your hands, that can burn you, or potentially if it got on your hands and got it in your eyes it would be problem, and obviously don't eat the sap.”
Boise Parks and Recreation says Myrtle Spurge is mostly present in the foothills.
It's one of those invasive species that gained popularity in landscaping, then creeped out of yards, and into open ranges. So, keep an eye out for it if you're hiking near any homes backed up to the trail.
Handling the weed is what causes an allergic reaction, so make sure to keep an eye on your kids when you're out, and make sure they know what it looks like.
Boise Parks and Recreation effort the eradication of Myrtle Spurge from the Gem State.
You can help remove the weed by signing up for Weed Warriors.