How to recognize and get rid of highly poisonous plant spreading throughout Ohio (and probably elsewhere)

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All, please take note. I was chopping down a bunch of this weed at a permission a couple weeks ago not knowing it is highly poisonous!

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The plant that is said to have been used to execute Socrates could also be in your backyard, as the highly poisonous plant continues to spread throughout Ohio.

Poison Hemlock is a flowering plant that is part of the carrot family and can be fatal if ingested by humans or animals. Chief Botanist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Richard Gardner said the non-native plant, which was relatively rare until about 30 years ago, is becoming more common and spreading throughout the state.

“It’s been in Ohio as early as the mid-1850s at least, brought in as an ornamental plant because of its unique foliage and white flowers,” Gardner said. “It was actually planted in people’s landscaping, and it has been spreading.”

The biennial plant has fern-like leaves and white flowers, which usually begin to bloom between June and August. It can grow up to 10 feet tall, but more commonly grows to around six to eight feet, according to Gardner.

Poison Hemlock typically grows along fence lines, in irrigation ditches and in moist environments. The plant can be found in every state in the country, with the exception of Alaska, Florida, Hawaii and Mississippi, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Poison hemlock likes full sun but can grow in partial shade,” Gardner said. “It can’t handle extremely dry, well-drained soil.”

In Ohio, the poisonous plant is most abundant in the western part of the state, but it has now spread to all 88 counties. The plant could be confused for parsley or wild carrot, Gardner said, but ingesting it could be a fatal mistake.

“This is a very deadly plant,” Gardner said. “It has alkaloids in its sap to protect it from things eating it – herbivores. All parts of the plant are poisonous, so you don’t want to ingest any of it.”

Eating any part of the plant can result in it attacking one’s nervous system and heart, according to Gardner. Most of the time, hemlock is only poisonous if ingested and people will not get a rash from touching it, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But even without eating the plant, Gardner said there are other ways one could suffer from a reaction, so people should be cautious around it.

“If you’re cutting it and the sap flies into your eyes or if you have a cut or something and the sap gets in the cut, you certainly can have a reaction to it,” Gardner said. “If you’re chopping it down or mowing through it the sap can get airborne and can go through your nose or mouth.”

If someone thinks they may have ingested the poisonous plant, Gardner said they should go to the emergency room.

Symptoms of hemlock poisoning​

Symptoms of hemlock poisoning can occur almost immediately after ingesting the plant, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms include sweating, vomiting, dilated pupils, excess salivation, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, confusion, muscle weakness, twitches, tremors and seizures.

In more severe cases, hemlock poisoning can cause delayed symptoms such as slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, muscle paralysis, muscle breakdown, muscle death, kidney failure and central nervous symptom depression.

For those with livestock or pets, symptoms of hemlock poisoning typically appear within an hour after the plant is ingested, and animals can die from respiratory paralysis within two to three hours, according to the USDA.

Signs an animal has ingested the plant include trembling, salivation and frothing, lack of coordination, dilated pupils, rapid pulse and convulsions.

How to remove the plant from your property​

State law mandates that property owners cut or destroy prohibited noxious weeds, including poison hemlock.

Small infestations of poison hemlock can be removed by hand. It is strongly recommended that hands are protected with gloves, arms are protected with long sleeves and eyes are protected with safety goggles, according to Ohio State University. Plants should be dug out, with the entire root removed. The plants should then be placed in a plastic bag in the trash.

Herbicides are likely the safest option for removal. The non-native weed is susceptible to a wide range of herbicides – Crossbow and Remedy Ultra has the best rating for controlling poison hemlock, followed by glyphosate (Roundup), dicamba and Cimarron Max, according to OSU.

Source: https://www.wdtn.com/news/ohio/how-...ly-poisonous-plant-spreading-throughout-ohio/
 

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Upvote 6
I took a walk today looking for arrowheads. I didn’t find any but here’s a nice patch of poison hemlock. It’s everywhere around here in central IL, especially along edges of fields. No one seems concerned about it and no effort to eradicate it. At this point, I don’t think that’s even possible. It would have to be a massive response that would be very expensive.
IMG_5411.jpeg
 

Yes, everywhere just like darn honeysuckle.
 

Yea I see it all the time also, there is some just across the street from our place.

I got a rule when I am out, don't put any plant material in my mouth. I think I learned that when I was two or three years old, and so far its worked.
 

All, please take note. I was chopping down a bunch of this weed at a permission a couple weeks ago not knowing it is highly poisonous!

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The plant that is said to have been used to execute Socrates could also be in your backyard, as the highly poisonous plant continues to spread throughout Ohio.

Poison Hemlock is a flowering plant that is part of the carrot family and can be fatal if ingested by humans or animals. Chief Botanist with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Richard Gardner said the non-native plant, which was relatively rare until about 30 years ago, is becoming more common and spreading throughout the state.

“It’s been in Ohio as early as the mid-1850s at least, brought in as an ornamental plant because of its unique foliage and white flowers,” Gardner said. “It was actually planted in people’s landscaping, and it has been spreading.”

The biennial plant has fern-like leaves and white flowers, which usually begin to bloom between June and August. It can grow up to 10 feet tall, but more commonly grows to around six to eight feet, according to Gardner.

Poison Hemlock typically grows along fence lines, in irrigation ditches and in moist environments. The plant can be found in every state in the country, with the exception of Alaska, Florida, Hawaii and Mississippi, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

“Poison hemlock likes full sun but can grow in partial shade,” Gardner said. “It can’t handle extremely dry, well-drained soil.”

In Ohio, the poisonous plant is most abundant in the western part of the state, but it has now spread to all 88 counties. The plant could be confused for parsley or wild carrot, Gardner said, but ingesting it could be a fatal mistake.

“This is a very deadly plant,” Gardner said. “It has alkaloids in its sap to protect it from things eating it – herbivores. All parts of the plant are poisonous, so you don’t want to ingest any of it.”

Eating any part of the plant can result in it attacking one’s nervous system and heart, according to Gardner. Most of the time, hemlock is only poisonous if ingested and people will not get a rash from touching it, according to the Cleveland Clinic. But even without eating the plant, Gardner said there are other ways one could suffer from a reaction, so people should be cautious around it.

“If you’re cutting it and the sap flies into your eyes or if you have a cut or something and the sap gets in the cut, you certainly can have a reaction to it,” Gardner said. “If you’re chopping it down or mowing through it the sap can get airborne and can go through your nose or mouth.”

If someone thinks they may have ingested the poisonous plant, Gardner said they should go to the emergency room.

Symptoms of hemlock poisoning​

Symptoms of hemlock poisoning can occur almost immediately after ingesting the plant, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Symptoms include sweating, vomiting, dilated pupils, excess salivation, dry mouth, rapid heartbeat, restlessness, confusion, muscle weakness, twitches, tremors and seizures.

In more severe cases, hemlock poisoning can cause delayed symptoms such as slow heartbeat, low blood pressure, muscle paralysis, muscle breakdown, muscle death, kidney failure and central nervous symptom depression.

For those with livestock or pets, symptoms of hemlock poisoning typically appear within an hour after the plant is ingested, and animals can die from respiratory paralysis within two to three hours, according to the USDA.

Signs an animal has ingested the plant include trembling, salivation and frothing, lack of coordination, dilated pupils, rapid pulse and convulsions.

How to remove the plant from your property​

State law mandates that property owners cut or destroy prohibited noxious weeds, including poison hemlock.

Small infestations of poison hemlock can be removed by hand. It is strongly recommended that hands are protected with gloves, arms are protected with long sleeves and eyes are protected with safety goggles, according to Ohio State University. Plants should be dug out, with the entire root removed. The plants should then be placed in a plastic bag in the trash.

Herbicides are likely the safest option for removal. The non-native weed is susceptible to a wide range of herbicides – Crossbow and Remedy Ultra has the best rating for controlling poison hemlock, followed by glyphosate (Roundup), dicamba and Cimarron Max, according to OSU.

Source: https://www.wdtn.com/news/ohio/how-...ly-poisonous-plant-spreading-throughout-ohio/
Invasive species sure seems to becoming even more of a problem everywhere in this country,In my state we have a problem plant known as mustard garlic and Japanese knotweed,Also a few invasive fish,insects.Humans meddling with nature usually doesn't end well.Im constantly pulling them out of my yard.Good luck with the eradication.
 

It's been here almost 200 years, and in 46 States.
Out of curiosity, how long does it take for a species to progress from "invasive" to "established"/"native"? :dontknow: [rhetorical--I don't expect there's a correct answer, BICBW]

We've known about & dealt with poison hemlock, poison sumac, poison ivy, and others since childhood. Things we learned from relatives, Indian guides (Y-guides today), cub scouts, hiking club, biology class, etc.

Invasive/native didn't occur to us back then. If you didn't like/want it on your property, it was invasive.

There is another plant that’s very similar I’ve heard being called Hog Weed that will give you the nastiest boils and blisters if you brush up against it. Best to just avoid plants that look like this.
Skin contact with the foliage of Daucus carota, (Queen Anne's Lace) especially wet foliage, can cause skin irritation in some people.

Agree. There are so many, and the poisonous species outnumber the harmless species. We were taught to leave alone anything that looks like it.
 

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