All gardeners and lawn aficionados need to take heed of a dangerous plant that was spotted growing in North Texas.
Lancaster resident Kenzie Kizer posted on Facebook over the weekend about her experience trying to handle a plant later identified as a poison hemlock.
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While trying to clean up her yard she touched the plant, and soon after started experiencing symptoms. She wrote, “Shortly after pulling the weeds my arms felt as if they were on fire, so I took a shower to wash out what I believed to be splinters. Less than an hour later my tongue started swelling, my skin was burning, my speech was slurred, I was dizzy, confused and very shaky.”
Because it looks like an innocuous white wildflower, and even wild carrots, experts worry about some ingesting the plant, which can prove fatal to people and certain livestock, including cattle and pigs.
Per NBC DFW, symptoms of exposure to the poison hemlock include trembling, muscle paralysis and a loss of speech. Death can occur from respiratory paralysis, though this usually involves ingesting a larger amount of the plant.
Barron Rector, an associate professor and range specialist at Texas A&M’s AgriLife Extension Service, advises that the best way to avoid these symptoms is by avoiding the plant altogether; if it isn’t in the way just let it be.
However if it must be handled, Rector advises putting on gloves and long sleeves, and using a shovel to lift the plant up and place it in a disposal bucket.
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