Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) is one of the deadliest plants in North America. Wild parsnip (Pastinaca sativa) sap can produce severe, painful skin blistering. Both are commonly found growing together in Ohio and both are beginning to “bolt” and bloom meaning the clock is quickly winding down for controlling these non-native nasties.
These non-native weeds are members of the carrot family, Apiaceae. The old name for the family was Umbelliferae which refers to the umbel flowers. The flowers are a key family feature with short flower stalks rising from a common point like the ribs on an umbrella. Queen Anne’s lace (a.k.a. wild carrot) (Daucus carota) is often used as the poster child for carrot family flowers. This non-native blooms much later in the season. Continue reading