Beware of poison hemlock, an invasive plant moving into our area.
“Poison hemlock is an invasive plant that lives for only two years. It is highly toxic (i.e., fatal) to humans and animals. Poison hemlock requires considerable sunlight to flourish and is found often near railways, rivers, ditches, field edges, farms and bike paths. It is unlikely to grow in very shady areas or places that are frequently mowed…All parts of the plant are highly poisonous (including composted plant parts) to humans and animals and may result in death if ingested. Do not eat or compost any part of the plant. Do not let children near the plants. Livestock poisoning usually occurs from the presence of poison hemlock in hay or when pastures are overgrazed and other sources of food have been depleted. Extra care should be taken to wear protective clothing before working with or exposure to poison hemlock.”
Read the full article on the University of Minnesota’s site, http://www.myminnesotawoods.umn.edu/poisonhemlock/. The article explains what to do if poison hemlock is found and provides excellent identification information. Professional removal is highly recommended.
Images courtesy of The University of Minnesota.