Toxic Plant Spreading Across The Country
Poison Hemlock has been spreading across the country, and can now be easily found along highways, in nearly all national parks, and even in backyard gardens. Every part of the plant is poisonous, from its seeds to its sap. Toxic alkaloids found in the plant can interfere with nerve transmissions to your muscles, resulting in respiratory failure. Even the simple act of touching it can cause irritation and blistering, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Eating it can ultimately be fatal to humans and animals, which raises concerns about children and pets who may potentially ingest the plant if not under a watchful eye. Trembling, salivation, pupil dilatation, muscle paralysis, and loss of speech are all indicators of poisoning. As of now, there is no antidote.
Poison Hemlock looks similar to a large parsley plant or Queen Anne's Lace. Its discerning feature, however, is its purple blotchy stem.
If you come across poison hemlock on your property, it is recommended to remove it, being sure to wear gloves, long sleeves, pants, and eye protection during the process. Do not try to mow or weed whack it, as this will only help spread the plant and possibly leave you susceptible to ingestion as seeds and sap get into the air.
Have you seen this toxic plant around your area?