A few years ago we were first warned about wild parsnip growing in the wild here in Minnesota, and now there's an even worse plant you'll want to avoid!

Minnesota Dept of Ag
Minnesota Dept of Ag

And, unlike wild parsnip (which sounds like something you might get on a salad), this one can be fatal, more so to our pets, but also to humans. Even it's name doesn't mess around: Poison Hemlock.

And, it's blooming in our neck of the woods, too. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says this nasty plant has been spotted near Lanesboro and St. Charles.

They've issued an alert to watch out for this plant, which looks harmless enough (it has clusters of white flowers, delicate leaves, and purple-looking stems), but is highly toxic to humans and animals.

The Ag Department says it's found on "roadsides, in pastures, along streambanks, and in ditches." And just touching it could be harmful too. The site says oils from poison hemlock can soak into your skin and cause severe irritation, so you should wear gloves and protective clothing if you’re handling it.

If you do suspect you've ingested poison hemlock, the site says to call Minnesota Poison Control immediately at (800) 222-1222. If a person is unresponsive or having trouble breathing, call 911.

And if you think you’ve found some poison hemlock, take a picture of the plant and email it to arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us, or contact your local University of Minnesota Extension office.

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