I never expected to be removing poison hemlock from a backyard in a suburban Midwest neighborhood. Yet, there I was, fully covered up in long sleeves, gloves and jeans while the temperature climbed to near 90 degrees.
The first day we discovered the dainty pretty white flowers in the garden area, I hoped it was some sort of useful herb or weed, left from the previous tenants. I took a few pictures and tried to identify the plants. Most of the garden was covered with dandelions, which are totally awesome, and some plantain. Both of these “weeds” hold lots of healthy nutrients and healing properties.
The hemlock is not such a good plant. First, ingesting any parts of it can lead to serious illness and death.
What is Poison Hemlock?
There is more than one type of hemlock but none of them are something you want around your family and pets. These plants are invasive, in addition to poisonous. The three to watch for are called Poison Hemlock, Water Hemlock, and Bulbiferous Hemlock. In addition another bad plant to find in your garden is called Giant Hogweed.
Poison Hemlock has clusters of tiny white flowers loosely held together by the stems. The leaves are fernlike and to me looked like many other plants. I am glad that I have friends who are much more knowledgeable about plants. I shared my photos and one friend gave me this link to a page about poisonous plants with white lacey flowers.
It’s important to correctly identify plants before assuming that they are useful herbs or edible weeds. Consult a good local plant guide and compare the stems, leaves and flowers.
How do you Start Removing Poison Hemlock from Your Yard?
I followed the steps below to ensure my own safety and that of the pets and children in the home.
- Gather large plastic bags for containing the plants.
- Pruners, garden rake, dust mask, thick gloves
- Wear long sleeves, long pants, socks and shoes.
Watching for Poison Hemlock to Return
More about Poison Hemlock from Grow Forage Cook Ferment
Removing Poison Ivy from Tenth Acre Farm