ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota officials are warning residents about the spread of poison hemlock in southeastern parts of the state.
Residents are cautioned to avoid touching the toxic flowering weed and get immediate emergency help if it's ingested.
Officials say it's spreading quickly near St. Charles and Lanesboro and can often be found along roadsides, in pastures, on the banks of streams and in ditches.
The state Department of Agriculture says all parts of the hemlock are poisonous, including the leaves, stem, flowers and roots.
The invasive plant is native to Europe and grows up to 8 feet tall. It has white umbrella-shaped flowers that cluster atop the stems and emits a wild carrot-like odor. It can be differentiated from other plants by its fern-like leaves and purple blotches on the stems.
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