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Poison Plants To Avoid This Summer

Going camping should mean having a great time either by yourself, with a loved one, or with the rest or your family, but you can ruin your trip pretty quickly when you accidentally run across common poisonous plants. Poison ivy is the one that people are most (and often painfully) aware of, but it is by no means the only hazardous plant that you should be worried about. There are a few others that you should avoid coming into contact with, if at all possible, especially if you have children with you.

Poison Ivy – “Leaves of three, let them be” is the old saying to remember for poison ivy identification. Just accidentally brushing up against it can leave you with horrible rashes that are itchy and weep, a result of urushiol-induced contact dermatitis. If a person is sufficiently allergic, coming into contact can trigger anaphylaxis. If you’re thinking that the poison ivy at your camp site is dead and harmless, think again.  Read More…

Poison oak – This can be a little tricky to identify, depending on which coast of the United States you’re on, because there are 2 varieties. One of them, toxicodendron diversilobum, grows on the west coast; toxicodendron pubescens grows on the east coast.  Read More…

Poison sumac – A woody shrub or small tree that also contains urushiol oil and is similar in effect to poison ivy and poison oak. It can have anywhere from 7 to 13 leaflets on each stem and grows only in very wet or flooded areas in the eastern United States. It is much more dangerous and aggravated in its affects on the human body than poison ivy or poison oak.  Read More…

Poison Hemlock – This plant was often used as a poison in medieval times, particularly in governmental executions. Hemlock can be mistaken for yarrow flowers that are sometimes seen sold in grocery stores; to be safe, avoid areas that have clusters of these white flowers, because you don’t have to ingest them to be affected by their pollen. Do not attempt to chop down stands of hemlock while it is in flower; the pollen is poisonous to inhaleRead More…

Death cap mushrooms – These look eerily similar to the mushrooms that you would purchase in your local grocery store and small children could easily mistake them for food. Avoid picking mushrooms completelyRead More…

Belladonna – Also known as “deadly nightshade”. Tomatoes are also in the nightshade family, but you definitely don’t want these little black berries anywhere near your next lasagna. As is the case with mushrooms, children might mistake these berries as edible and unfortunately, it only takes between 2 to 5 berries to kill a small child. Read More…

Pokeweed – This plant has been used in traditional herbal medicine sparingly because it is so potent that the margin for error in dosage is very slight. Even though the berries are the least toxic part of the plant, you still don’t want to eat them. Read More…

Foxglove – This beauty isn’t called “dead man’s bell” for no reason. Proper identification includes looking for the spots in the interior of the flower, with an appearance reminiscent of a spotted tongue. While not unsafe to handle, very young children who have a tendency to put almost anything in their mouth are at risk. Even a nibble of one of the upper leaves of the foxglove plant can be enough to cause death. Read More…