Poison Hemlock Photos, Clay County

Photos of local poison hemlock from Clay County are shown below. These photos were provided by Pat Wilkinson.

Here is a useful identification resource for poison Hemlock provided by Pat Wilkinson.

Here are some photos of another toxic lookalike species called wild parsnip or poison parsnip that were collected by Pat Wilkinson.

Wild Parsnip has toxic sap that can cause rashes/burns similar to that of poison ivy.


Poison Hemlock Identification & Management

Poison-hemlock is acutely toxic to people and animals.  It is common on roadsides, in open fields, and in natural areas.


Poison-hemlock is acutely toxic to people and animals, with symptoms appearing 20 minutes to three hours after ingestion.  All parts of the plant are poisonous and even the dead canes remain toxic for up to three yearsThe amount of toxin varies and tends to be higher in sunny areas.  Eating the plant is the main danger, but it is also toxic to the skin and respiratory system.  When digging or mowing large amounts of poison-hemlock, wear gloves and a mask or take frequent breaks to avoid becoming ill.  On a hot day toxins can be absorbed into the skin and cause severe reactions.  The typical symptoms for humans include dilation of the pupils, dizziness, and trembling followed by slowing of the heartbeat, paralysis of the central nervous system, muscle paralysis, and death due to respiratory failure.  For animals symptoms include nervous trembling, salivation, lack of coordination, pupil dilation, rapid weak pulse, respiratory paralysis, coma, and sometimes death.  For both people and animals quick treatment can reverse the harm and typically there aren’t noticeable aftereffects. If you suspect poisoning from this plant, call for help immediately because the toxins are fast-acting – for people, call poison-control at 1-800-222-1222 or for animals, call your veterinarian.

Identification & Control

Poison Hemlock blooms in the late spring, so this is the time of year to identify it and remove it. Shown below is a very helpful fact sheet produced by King County, Washington. They have put together all of the information you need to get started in identifying, and controlling Poison Hemlock. PLEASE USE CAUTION WHEN HANDLING POISON HEMLOCK. IT CAN CAUSE ACUTE RESPIRATORY DISTRESS AND DEATH. King County has more in depth information at their website (http://www.kingcounty.gov/services/environment/animals-and-plants/noxious-weeds/weed-identification/poison-hemlock.aspx).

IOWPA Certification/Septic System Workshop, March 14th

The Clay County Soil & Water Conservation District in conjunction with IOWPA (Indiana Onsite Wastewater Professionals Association), the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Clay County Health Department will be hosting an IOWPA installer certification training and exam on March 14th at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall 610 Washington St., Clay City, IN 47841.

This training will cover septic system installation regulations, and will be aimed primarily at installers in the area. However this workshop is not limited to installers, anyone is welcome to come who may be interested in the material being covered. There is no fee to attend the training if you do not wish to be certified with IOWPA.

The Indiana State Health Department will do a 2-3 hour training followed by an opportunity to take the IOWPA installer certification exam.  IOWPA will be providing a small lunch following the training.

If installer/s do wish to certify, the fees are as follows:
IOWPA Membership Dues – $75 per year
IOWPA Installer Certification Fee – $50 (no charge for retesting for those that do not pass)
Recertification requirements are 20 hours of continuing education over a three year period plus a $25 recertification fee AND maintain annual IOWPA dues of $75 per year.

Attached is a registration form for your reference. Please RSVP for this workshop with Donna Sheets (see registration form or go to http://www.iowpa.org). If you would like to apply for certification you must fill out the attached registration form, and pay prior to the event. Payment will not be accepted at the payment site, and must be made prior to the test. If you have any questions please contact Donna Sheets, or  Tyler Trout at the Clay County SWCD by phone (812-446-8986 ext.3) or by email at tyler.trout@in.nacdnet.net.