Officials are sounding the alarm about a poisonous plant that can be deadly that's found in New York. Here's how you can help identify the plant to avoid.
The poison hemlock grows in backyards, flower beds and parks. The National Park Service labels it as "highly toxic" and reports it's found in almost every state in the nation, including in New York.
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“That movement is a bit scary to me because this plant is very toxic and it’s more of an opportunity for kids to play with it and pets to eat it,” Indiana's Natural Resources Conservation Service spokesperson Dan Shaver told Yahoo News. “It is not a plant you want around your home or in your local park.”
All parts of the plant are poisonous. The sap from the plant can react with the sun and cause blisters or welts if the sap ends up on skin. Any part of the plant can be deadly if eaten, officials say.
Below are photos to help you spot a poison hemlock plant:
The plant was native to Europe and Asia. It was brought to the United States in the 1800s as a garden plant, marketed as “winter fern," according to the National Park Service.
"Poison hemlock is highly poisonous to humans and animals. It can acts as a pioneer species and quickly colonized disturbed sites. Infestations occur along roadsides, field margins, ditches, marshes, meadows, and low-lying areas, but poison hemlock prefers shaded areas with moist soil," the National Park Service states.
The plant grows two to ten feet tall. The stems are ribbed and hollow with purplish streaks or splotches. Poison hemlock reproduces by seeds that fall near the plant. Seeds can travel from mowing, fur, birds, water and on occasion wind, officials say.
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