CAUTION! The landscape in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin is about to turn from purple flowers popping up everywhere that are toxic to dogs to...plants that can lead to severe burns and send you to the Emergency Room.  And based on my walk the other day, that second plant has already started to pop up through the ground.

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READ MORE: Purple Flowers Popping Up Everywhere Are NOT What You Think

The Yellow Plant You Should NOT Touch in Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin

If you love gathering wildflowers for a gorgeous bouquet at your house, there is one yellow flower you are NOT going to want to touch.  It would add some amazing color but this is one plant that could cause you serious harm.  The name to know is 'wild parsnip'.

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Ian_Redding ThinkStock
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Warning! Stay away from Wild Parsnip

Now that the rain has given the Midwest a good soak, everything is turning green.  In that mix of foliage though are some small bursts of yellow that are starting to peek through on some plants known as Wild Parsnip.  If you see that, do NOT touch the plant.

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Kathryn Kirsch ThinkStock
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Where is wild parsnip found?

Wild parsnip typically is found in ditches throughout Minnesota, parts of Northern Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin.  Because it is wild though, it can be anywhere.  Just the other day, I saw it on a bike path where I was walking.  If kids were in strollers or on a bike and stuck their hand out, just to hit the plants as they flew by, they would have touched the wild parsnip that was growing on the edge.  I also found it in one of my very overgrown garden beds yesterday as I was weeding.

Is the pain really that bad from touching Wild Parsnip?

Short answer:  Yes! 

Long answer:  Touching wild parsnip could send you to the Emergency Room.  If you are wanting more expert advice, Mayo Clinic explains that "touching sap from the wild parsnip plant — combined with exposure to sunlight — can cause a burn-like skin reaction. Within a day after exposure, the skin turns red and might develop painful blisters. While mild reactions might go unnoticed, a severe reaction can cause skin discoloration for months or years."

What to do if you touch Wild Parsnip

If you or your child accidentally touches wild parsnip, there are a few things to do immediately to help alleviate the symptoms, including the following:

  • Use cool water to wash the affected area.
  • To calm the burning feeling, use a wet cloth, unscented moisturizer, or calamine lotion, and avoid sunlight.  (The burning feeling may last a few days.)
  • If the reaction is extremely painful, the blisters are severe or the pain lasts more than a couple of weeks, a doctor should determine the next steps of care.

READ MORE: Popular Vegetable Growing in Minnesota Ditches Right Now

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Ticks Are Bad This Year in Minnesota!

My kid came home yesterday from hanging out with friends at a park and said, "well, I just pulled my first tick off for the season".  Immediately, my skin started to crawl and I felt like I had a tick on me.  Stay safe and know what to look for by checking out the various types of ticks below that are crawling around our state.

LOOK: Minnesota Ticks and How To Prevent Bites

They are creepy, crawly and unfortunately are so stealth-like that you don't even know they are on your body sucking your blood. Ticks. Here are a few different types of ticks in Minnesota and a few tips on how you can help prevent tick bites.

Gallery Credit: Jessica Williams

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