Plentiful Weed Causes Painful Burns

Northwest Iowa — A poisonous weed that has been with us for a long time — is plentiful in Iowa this year, and it could be hard to avoid in grassy areas such as pastures, hiking areas, and ditches.

wild parsnip_extension
wild parsnip

Experts tell us that wild parsnip is not a plant with which you would want to come into contact. The Iowa DNR says the wild parsnip plant has lacy, yellow-green heads. If its oil touches the skin and then is exposed to sunlight, painful blisters will develop. Iowa State University Extension’s Joel De Jong tells us about it.

He tells us what to do if you think you have encountered wild parsnip.

wild parsnip burn_extension
wild parsnip burn

Experts tell us that it doesn’t matter if the plant is flowering or not – you should avoid contact with it at all times.

Iowa DNR experts also say you should avoid using a lawn string trimmer to remove it, as you’ll get splattered with broken parsnip tissue and have a high exposure to its toxin.

As with exposure to poison ivy, it is suggested that you wash off as soon as possible after exposure. The DNR says prevention is also key here – wear long sleeves and pants, and avoid contact with the plant.

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