We see a lot of info about insects and animals in New York that are dangerous, but when it comes to plants, many of us are less aware.

How often have you seen a plant and thought to yourself that it looked absolutely harmless, only to find out later that it was dangerous?  It happens more than you'd know.  This plant in particular isn't something that will just make you itch.  If this one is ingested, it can actually be deadly.

It's called poison hemlock

The plant that you should keep an eye out for is called poison hemlock.  It has stems with reddish or purple markings and tiny white flowers arranged in small, umbrella-shaped clusters.  You'll find it in ditches, along roadsides, in pastures, and sometimes in your yard.

It can often look like a harmless weed or an edible herb.  However, making this mistake could prove deadly.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, it contains several toxic compounds called alkaloids.  If ingested, they can cause respiratory issues that could result in death.  It's roots and seeds are actually the most dangerous.

What happens if you touch poison hemlock?

Luckily poison hemlock isn't like poison ivy in the sense that it won't give you a rash or make you itch from the touch.  However, if you have an open wound or a scratch, the alkaloids in poison hemlock can cause seizures, vomiting, and respiratory issues.

Can you remove the poison hemlock if you find it?

If you find poison hemlock you can remove it but most suggest that you be very careful with it.  You should wear gloves if you will be touching it at all and a mask to avoid inhaling anything.  The suggested method of removal is to dig it up, making sure to remove the entire plant so that it will not grow back.

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