A duplicate word was removed from the previous version.
EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) — You may notice some beautiful new blooms in your yard, but beware – they could be deadly for you and your pets.
The plants could be Poison Hemlock plants.
Some Oklahoma City area residents are finding these in their yard after recent rains.
Behind the blooming beauties – a bit of danger looms.
“There are toxic properties inside them that can kill both animals and people if consumed in the right properties,” said Josh Campbell with the OSU Oklahoma County Extension Office “So definitely be careful with this.”
Campbell says Poison Hemlock is common across the U.S. and especially in Oklahoma right now after recent rains.
“May, June, early summer is when it’s blooming out and maturing and really noticeable,” said Campbell.
The plants, often confused with Queen Anne’s Lace or wild carrots, are distinguished by their size – which can be up to nine feet – as well as their coloring.
“They’re going to have an either purple, kind of red modeling, almost like polka dot patterning on the stems,” Campbell said.
While they’re mostly found in pastures or unmanaged areas, some residents in the Edmond area have reported finding them in their backyards – and this plant is a pest.
Poison Hemlock can cause skin irritation – and if consumed – it can be lethal – making it particularly dangerous for livestock.
“But animals are smarter than we give them credit and for the most part it’s not very palatable to them and they’re not going to eat it unless they don’t have a lot of other options,” said Campbell.
Campbell says the best option is to physically remove the plant and dispose of it if possible.
“You’re not worried about it coming back from seed or from the crown of the plant,” he said. “So physical removal is great but you need to glove up.”
Always wear long pants and sleeves when handling Poison Hemlock.
When dealing with larger, more mature plants or a larger quantity, you may need to hack them down – or the help of an herbicide.
You can always call your county extension office for advice.