The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is warning residents of the dangers of poison hemlock. This weed has been detected in Southeastern Minnesota in the St. Charles and Lanesboro areas and could possibly be elsewhere in the area.

Picasa Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The Ag Department encourages people to use precaution when handling and not to ingest any part of the plant. This applies to animals as well.

The Department of Agriculture website has a number of pictures of this dangerous plant. Poison hemlock can grow as high as 8 feet tall. Its leaves somewhat resemble a carrot leaf. The plant has a hairless stem with purple blotches and small white umbrella-shaped clusters. The plant also emits an odor. The Ag Department stresses that there have been reports of people being poisoned just by handling the plant.

This plant is usually found along roadsides, pastures, along streams and in ditches.

Anyone who thinks they may have spotted this poisonous plant may email a photo to arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us or contact their local extension office.

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