Watch out for Poison Hemlock! It was found for the first time last year in Rice County west of Fox and Circle Lake. It has also been found in northeastern Goodhue County not far from the Nerstrand State Park. It has poison in it's name for a reason! If the plant is eaten by animals, livestock or humans it can be fatal. In fact, it was in ancient Greece Socrates was sentenced to death and made to drink a tea of Poison Hemlock. It did kill him.

Poison Hemlock typically grows in road diches, along streams, in pastures, along with CRP acres. Poison Hemlock leaves are dark green and you may think it is a fern. It is native to North Africa and was brought to the Unites States from Europe for ornamental reasons. Poison Hemlock is in the same family as another invasive and dangerous weed that is spread all over Rice and many other counties, Wild Parsnip.

If you see in infestation of Poison Hemlock call the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at 1-888-545-6684. If you are not sure it is Poison Hemlock call the Rice County Soil and Water Conservation District at 507-332-1222. Thank you to Emmie Peters at the Rice County Soil and Water Conservation District for emailing the news release on Poison Hemlock!