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Be Aware of Poison Hemlock

 

You do not have to travel for very long within Putnam County to see poison hemlock growing. 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. Poison hemlock is currently blooming in Putnam County. The stem of poison hemlock will have purple spots on it and be hairless.  

It is important to know how to identify poison hemlock because it is highly poisonous and can be fatal to humans and livestock when consumed. If a human would touch it, they can develop major skin irritations. This can even incur if you mow the plant down. Poison hemlock easily invades areas around roads, streams, trails, ditches, forest edges, and waste areas.

If you think you may have poison hemlock on your property, do not touch it. Take a photo of the plant (entire plant) and an up-close photo of the stem. You can then email the photos to smith535@purdue.edu for identification and information on how to control it. Purdue University is an equal access/equal opportunity institution.

 

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