Poisonous plants resemble pretty flowers

Poisonous plants resemble pretty flowers

What looks like a pretty flower is actually a poisonous plant that’s found its way to Ohio.

Giant hogweed is in northeast Ohio and poisonous hemlock is already in our area. They are invasive species found along roads, streams, ditches and trails. The plants resemble Queen Anne’s Lace, and if touched, can have some dangerous side effects.

“We’re talking full-blown dermatitis that can go up through the entire arm or any limb it’s been attached to,” said Suzanne Mills-Wasniak, of the Montgomery County extension office.

Hemlock can cause dizziness, respiratory issues or paralysis. It can be fatal for humans if swallowed.

Hogweed is in the same family as hemlock and can pose equally serious problems.

“You need to be aware of the plants wherever you’re going, if you’re hiking or camping and doing all the fun summer things so that you can avoid this plant completely,” said Dr. Nancy Pook, medical director in the emergency department at Kettering Medical Center.

If you come across plants like these, call your county extension office who can identify the plant and create a plan of action to get rid of it.

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