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Thread: Poison parsnip causes severe burns, blisters on woman's legs

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Poison parsnip causes severe burns, blisters on woman's legs

    That's the title of the article. The incident took place in Vermont.

    It talks about an 'invasive species' of 'poison parsnip'. Not sure this was Hogweed, or cow parsnip, but in any case, be aware of what these plants look like and avoid them, as you would poison ivy.

    Cow Parsnip pics

    Hogweed pics

    The big difference to me is the sheer size of the Hogweed.

    Full article https://www.yahoo.com/news/poison-pa...152007184.html

    Edit: Maybe a good time to download a plant ID App...
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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    This came up a while ago too at Dry River Shelter #2.

    http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthrea...iver-Shelter-2
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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    The pictures of this incident on FB were pretty nasty looking. I have had severe Poison Ivy incidents but this stuff makes that look tame. Thanks for posting.
    Last edited by skiguy; 07-23-2018 at 02:38 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post

    The big difference to me is the sheer size of the Hogweed.

    Full article https://www.yahoo.com/news/poison-pa...152007184.html
    And the bright yellow flowers of poison parsnip compared to the white of hogweed and cow parsnip.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsnip

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    Cow Parsnip has white flowers. This is a photo of one on Jefferson Notch Rd (photo took about a week ago).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracleum_maximum

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    poison parsnip


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    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    A few years ago itt took me a while to discover why each spring i developed those pussy itchy blisters after working in the yard (though not as severe as those on that woman). I know what poison ivy looks like and did not ever notice any of that, so I was mystified. Then I learned that what I had was called "weed whackers dermatitis" and where it came from. Since then I have been at war with the easy to identify wild parsnip plant, to ensure that none of it reproducing on my land, even though it grows in great abundance on nearby roadsides. So far so good. Roundup is wonderful stuff (given proper precautions). So is a sharp shovel slicing below ground level.

    https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/105364.html
    Last edited by Nessmuk; 07-23-2018 at 05:03 PM.
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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    A buddy had to stop hiking the Cohos Trail two summers ago. He had a bleb on his leg like I wouldn't believe.

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    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    The mature stuff has now turned brown and gone to seed. I don't know if it is still dangerous. Lessen next year's crop by bagging the seed heads in a black garbage bag and leaving to cook in the hot sun before disposing. New young plants can still be seen growing in roadside sand and would probably be still poisonous to touch. Kill with week killer chemicals or a sharp shovel below ground level.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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    Senior Member paul ron's Avatar
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    OMG a new poison plant, just what we need.
    This should giv3e everyone more incentive for backpacking the winter months.

    Thanks for the heads up... I'll pass it on.

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul ron View Post
    OMG a new poison plant, just what we need.
    It's not a new plant -- it's been around for many (250?) years and has just gotten some recent attention. If I'm not mistaken, it's just the wild variant of the cultivated parsnip, Pastinaca sativa, which also has furanocoumarins in the leaves/sap/flowers.

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    Senior Member paul ron's Avatar
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    I meant a new invasive to worry about.

    I havent seen any in the ADKs or Catskills but I did find a huge hog weed plant in long island near Jones Beach.

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul ron View Post
    I meant a new invasive to worry about.

    I havent seen any in the ADKs or Catskills but I did find a huge hog weed plant in long island near Jones Beach.
    I am sorry -- I should have been clearer in my original message: the plant was introduced to North America about 250 years ago, in particular Canada/New England/New York, so it's been around for quite a while. It would appear that we're hearing "new old news" about its ability to cause skin burns.

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    Senior Member Nessmuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkingcat View Post
    I am sorry -- I should have been clearer in my original message: the plant was introduced to North America about 250 years ago, in particular Canada/New England/New York, so it's been around for quite a while. It would appear that we're hearing "new old news" about its ability to cause skin burns.
    The plant is native to Europe. It was brought here as an ornamental, as the young plant does have a pleasant looking leaf structure. But where I grew up in northern NY it never existed until it popped up in a big way about a dozen or so years ago. But now it thickly invades roadsides and open fields where I lived and played as a kid and later. I happen to be fairly sensitive to it. Try as I may to avoid any contact with it, every spring and early summer after I do yard work I seem to become affected with the rash and small blisters. I have declared war on it on my property, aggressively eliminating it where I can without coming in contact with any part of the plant.
    "She's all my fancy painted her, she's lovely, she is light. She waltzes on the waves by day and rests with me at night." - Nessmuk, Forest and Stream, July 21, 1880 [of the Wood Drake Canoe built for him by Rushton]

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    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    And, because "poison parsnip" is really the cultivated parsnip that has gone wild, it's edible. If you like the cultivated/commercial parsnip, you can harvest wild parsnips -- with proper identification and care, naturally, to avoid the sap on exposed skin. There are a number of food-in-the-wild guides, like this one, for information.

    I wasn't aware that the range of the plant was so widespread -- pretty much all of North America. Interesting to see how a plant can spread over the course of a couple of centuries after jumping the colonial garden, and what was once a common foodstock has, over the years become classified as an invasive and nuisance.

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