Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Poisonous invasive plants from the Parsley family

The Parsley Family includes some wonderful edible plants like the carrot and parsnip, plus more aromatic spices found in your spice cabinet, such as anise, celery, chervil, coriander, caraway, cumin, dill, fennel and of course, parsley.
But unlike the Mustard or Mint families, the Parsleys are not all safe for picking and eating. In fact, the Parsley family is among the most important families of plants to learn, since it includes the deadliest plants in North America: poison hemlock and water hemlock.
Conium maculatum (hemlock or poison hemlock) native to Europe and North Africa.

Water Hemlock (Cicuta douglasii)
OTHER NAMES: Cowbane, poison parsnip, wild parsnip, snake root, 
snakeweed, spotted hemlock, poison hemlock.
This plant is extremely poisonous to people and livestock. 
The most poisonous parts are the roots and stem bases.

Giant Hogweed
This invasive noxious weed that has been declared a public health hazard 
because it is dangerous to both people and pets. 
I have seen the Giant Hogweed -  a very impressive, 
very tall plant with very large white flowers resembling Queen Anne's lace but much larger. 
See picture below...

Please do not touch the plant. 
The sap of of the Giant Hogweed plant is 
photo-reactive, so it does react with the sunlight. 
It can cause an intense burn right away or an intense blistering. 
Also, if you get it in your eyes, it can cause blindness temporarily or permanent."

More information can be found here:

Angelica archangelica (angelica) Angelica atropurpurea (American angelica, Purple angelica, Alexanders) Angelica polymorpha var. sinensis (Chinese angelica, dong quai) Angelica gigas (Korean angelica)

To compare the different plants ...
Angelica resembles the poisonous cow parsnip but the stem is green - purple, waxy with no fine hair.        
This summer-blooming wildflower of the carrot family apiaceae, is not poisonous, 
closely related to the garden plant Angelica archangelica that is used for culinary purposes,
 indeed, until the 20th century Wild Angelica was widely used as a vegetable and herbal medicine.      

Used information and pictures from various sources  - including Wikipedia 

Wildflowers....along Walter Bean Trail - Rim Park Waterloo