Experts warn of toxic plants to keep an eye out for this summer

MIAMI VALLEY — As many of us are spending more time outside these next few months, experts are warning of plants that look harmless but can be toxic.

Poison Hemlock is known for its clusters of white and purple flowers and tall hollow stems.

This plant is not native to our area. It came from Asia and Europe as a garden plant then spread across the United States.

Now it is on the banned species list as a prohibited noxious weed so it can no longer be sold or distributed.

The plant is most toxic if ingested, but can also cause skin rashes or difficulty breathing for humans and animals.

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The entire plant is toxic from the flower to the roots, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Megan Rude, lead conservation technician and Five Rivers Metroparks shared the best way to get rid of these toxic plants.

“You can either hand pull or hand dig the plants up, if there’s just a couple of them, you can mow them,” Rude said.

Rude said to make sure you are wearing gloves around them.

If the plant does get on your skin, you will want to wash it off right away.

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Another toxic plant often lives by Poison Hemlock — Poison Parsnip.

The plants have small bright yellow flowers.

Poison Parsnips have a chemical in their sap that reacts with sunlight, known as Psoralens.

The chemical kills the skin cells that work to protect us from the sun and can cause severe blisters and burns.

Like Poison Hemlock, if you come in contact with this plant wash your skin with soap and water as soon as possible.