This Highly Poisonous Plant Could Be In Your Own Backyard
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This Highly Poisonous Plant Could Be In Your Own Backyard

With spring and summer in swing, many plants are blooming. Many Americans have flowers in their yards as a form of decoration and to add a floral touch. However, some people's backyards may be harboring a highly poisonous plant that could harm you and your plants. I'm talking of course about Poison Hemlock.

Throughout history, the planet has gained notoriety for its poisonous properties. Historians believe Socrates died by ingesting the plant, and apparently it's abundant in the United States. It's spreading across the country. The poisonous plant can be found in every state except for Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, and Mississippi.

A member of the carrot family, Poison Hemlock is deadly if ingested. Up until several decades ago, Ohio Department of Natural Resources' chief botanist Richard Gardner said the plant was rare. However, it's now becoming more and more prevalent as the plant spreads. Settlers brought the plant to the United States from Europe.

Highly Poisonous Plant

"This is a very deadly plant," Gardner told KDVR. "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."

You can recognize the plant thanks to its white flowers, resembling parsley. It typically blooms sometime between June and August.It grows between six to 10 feet. "Poison hemlock likes full sun but can grow in partial shade," Gardner said. "It can't handle extremely dry, well-drained soil."

The plant is highly poisonous but only if ingested. However, sap can enter a person's eye or become airborne. "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."

Should you accidentally ingest the plant, seek immediate emergency attention. Depending on your state's regulations, it may be required to remove the plant from your property. Removing the plant properly is essential. While it can be removed by hand, you should wear gloves and protect your arms and eyes to prevent any sap getting on you. Likewise, you should remove the poisonous planet from the entire root. Place the plant in a bag and toss it in the trash.