Be on the Lookout for Wild Parsnip this Summer

With summer weather now settling into the area, outdoor plants are beginning to grow and people are spending more time outside. With that said, there are a few plants you should look out for when visiting area parks and wildlife areas, including poison ivy, wild parsnip and stinging nettles. 

Thomas Rice, a naturalist with the Franklin County Conservation Office, says wild parsnip is a non-native plant in the parsnip family that originated in Europe and poses a health hazard that many people may not be aware of. 

Wild parsnip is found in open places such as roadsides, pastures and disturbed areas and Rice says it can grow up to five feet in height. 

Rice says if you do come in contact with the sap of a wild parsnip plant, you should wash the infected area as soon as possible.

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