Do you know what an invasive plant is? It is a plant that is not native to our environment, and one that can cause (or is likely to cause) harm to our environment, economy, and/or human health. There are several different invasive plants currently in Putnam County and the surrounding area including autumn olive, garlic mustard, Japanese honeysuckle, and poison hemlock. Some invasive plants are hard to identify, while others are easy to locate. Likewise, controlling invasive species can be difficult and time consuming.
One invasive plant that is actively growing in Putnam County is poison hemlock. Poison hemlock is a biennial plant that can grow up to 10 feet tall during its second year of life. During year two, it will bloom. The flowers of poison hemlock are small and white and they are found in an umbrella-shaped cluster on top of the plant. The leaves are fern-like. Blooming typically takes place during June and July.
Based on the description above, you probably think this sounds a lot like Queen Anne’s lace or wild cow parsnip, which is correct. Poison hemlock is commonly confused with those two plants. You can tell it apart from those by looking at the stem. The stem of poison hemlock will have purple spots on it. It is important to know how to identify poison hemlock because it is highly poisonous and can be fatal to humans and livestock. Poison hemlock easily invades areas around roads, streams, trails, ditches, forest edges, and waste areas. It is well established and widely distributed throughout Indiana.
Besides poison hemlock, there are several other invasive plants waking up from their winter dormancy. Putnam County Remove Invasive Plants (PC RIP), Putnam County SWCD, Purdue Extension, and the Indiana DNR invite you to attend the Invasive Plant Control Training for Landowners on April 16, 2022. This event will take place at Deer Creek Fish & Wildlife Area from 9:00 – 11:30 am. We do ask that everyone register by April 14, 2022 to receive the exact location for the event. Register at https://tinyurl.com/PutInvasive The event will take place outdoors and require a lot of walking (no seats will be available).
During the Invasive Plant Control Training for Landowners participants will hear from Lenny Farlee, Purdue University, and Amber Slaughterbeck, State of Indiana Cooperative Invasive Management. They will be talking about assessing your invasive plant problem and the three pillars of invasive management. We look forward to an exciting event on April 16th and hope that everyone registers in advance at https://tinyurl.com/PutInvasive
Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local
Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution. All times listed are Eastern Time.
April 14 – Backyard Poultry Biosecurity webinar, 12 Noon, Register at
April 14 – Spring Flowers, 2pm, Extension Office, virtual option available upon request,
free, register at 765-653-8411
April 15 – Extension Office Closed
April 16 – Invasive Plant Control Training for Landowners, 9-11:30am, Deer Creek Fish &
Wildlife Area, register by April 14 at https://tinyurl.com/PutInvasive
April 20-June 8 – A Matter of Balance (Fall Prevention), 8-Wednesdays, 1-3:00pm,
Roachdale Community & Senior Center, free, limited spots, register at
April 26 – Know Your Numbers, Know Your Options, virtual program series, 10am-noon, $20, register at https://cvent.me/KR0r5B
April 30 – Plant Auction, 10am start, Fairgrounds
May 18 – African Violets & the Gesneriad Family Webinar, 7pm, register at