GREEN BAY - As the summer growing season blooms, ecologists are warning people to be aware of poisonous plants.
The DNR says one such plant, wild parsnip, is cropping up along roadsides in Northeast Wisconsin.
"Flat-top, yellow umbrellas, looks like a carrot or Queen Anne's lace foliage," said Joe Henry, DNR ecologist.
A DNR photograph shows wild parsnip in the field.
"It invades roadsides, it can be in degraded prairies, along railroad right-of-ways, pretty much any place that has ground that has been disturbed, you're likely to find wild parsnip," said Henry.
DNR ecologist Joe Henry says another invasive, poison hemlock, has been spotted in the southern part of the state. Henry says wild parsnip has become a growing concern in Northeast Wisconsin.
"When you have the resin or the sap from the plant come in contact with your skin, you wash it off, there's still some residue left on your skin," said Henry.
And in extreme instances, people could find themselves at the hospital. At St. Mary's Hospital in Green Bay, emergency room doctors say so far this year they've already treated two cases of severe skin rash.
"If the plant, the toxin will rub up against one's skin, you'll get a little bit of erythema, redness, and then a blistering effect after. It will look similar for us, as poison ivy would be treated," said Dr. Angela Wright, St. Mary's Hospital emergency physician.
Dr. Angela Wright says treatment is two-fold.
"Over-the-counter, any type of Benadryl, creams or anything, oatmeal bath. But then we also give oral steroids to help with the process too," said Dr. Wright.
The DNR says people can dig up the parsnip below the roots, or spray the leaves and stems with herbicide.
Ecologists say people should also use common sense.
"Don't wear shorts if you don't know where this stuff is. Because your legs can be prime target for lots of blisters, and a lot of pain," said Henry.
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