Killer Weed on the Rise
There is a killer on the loose this summer and it's name is cranium maculatum commonly know as "poison hemlock"
Though this weed of a plant is not uncommon in the Reno/Sparks area, what is uncommon is how abundant it is this year. Some say the rapid growth is due to very moist weather conditions from earlier this year. This is a plausible theory since the deadly weed grows in areas that are shaded with moist soil. The weed itself is poisonous throughout its entire body ranging from seed, flower, stem and leaves. Poison hemlock can be very deadly killing people and dogs within 3 hours, but only if ingested. Contact to the skin may cause a light irritation or no effect at all. An interesting fact is that this is the same plant that killed the famous philosopher Socrates after consuming it via tea form. Poison hemlock is actually commonly found across the United States, but locally it is mainly found along the Truckee River this summer. This doesn't mean that it isn't growing in your backyard or in other local areas of town however. The best thing to do is to avoid the plant all together. You can spot poison hemlock from viewing the picture above or looking for it's common give away such as purpulish spots on the stalk of the plant. These plants can grow up to over seven feet tall as well, so make sure to look out for any range of size. If you fear that you or your pet has ingested this plant in anyway make sure to immediately contact poison control at (800) 222-1222. Safety precautions have already been taken in overgrown areas such as Dorostkar Park as they have put up signs closing down sections of the park. In addition there are efforts being made to remove as many of the plants by hand as possible.
Make sure to be very cautious this summer when you and your fury friend are out by the Truckee River or come in contact to a plant resembling this overgrown killer.