Officials Warn of the Spread of Poisonous Hemlock in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is warning residents about the dangers of poison hemlock, which is a toxic member of the carrot family.

Officials are asking residents to be on the lookout for the week and take precautions when handling it. A person should avoid exposure at all costs by wear gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.

Poison hemlock can grow up to eight feet tall, the flowers are small and white with umbrella shaped clusters on the top of stems. According to the MDA, the plant is currently in bloom in areas of the state. The stems are smooth with purple blotches and emit an odor.

The plants are similar to wild carrot and water hemlock, but the purple blotches distinguish it from the related species.

All parts of poison hemlock and poisonous. The MDA reports that people have been poisoned by handling the plants.

If a person may have ingested the plant Minnesota Poison Control should be called immediately at 1-800-222-1222 or call 911.

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