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Poisonous Plants

Poisonous Plants


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This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Ed Yeates Reporting...The case of a boy who got sick from eating what could have been wild celery, is a reminder the "foraging" season is on again.

Spring rains are bringing on an abundant crop of weeds and natural plants that may appear edible when they're not.

Poison Victim: "I THOUGHT IT WAS LIKE A WILD CARROT OR SOMETHING. I DIDN'T THINK IT WAS GOING TO HURT ME."

Poison Victim: "WELL, IT TOOK ABOUT 15 TO 20 MINUTES BEFORE I STARTED TO FEEL ANYTHING. AND THEN WHEN IT KICKED IN, IT WAS LIKE I HAD DRANK A WHOLE BUNCH, LIKE I WAS DRUNK."

Death Camas looks like wild onion - but it's NOT!

Water and Poison Hemlock are far from watercress.

Oleander hardly makes a nice up of tea.

And Jimson weed is a cheap high that could drop you six feet under.

Plant poisonings all play on the same stage in repeat performances every year. So again this season, Utah Poison Control Director Barbara Crouch says as you pick the posies -- heed advice from the victims themselves, which now span almost a decade.

Poison Victim: "STAY AWAY FROM IT. STAY AWAY FROM WILD THINGS THAT YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT."

Ed Yeates, KSL Science Specialist: "BEGINNING NOW AND CONTINUING THROUGH THE FALL IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU GO IN UTAH, YOU'LL FIND ONE OR MORE OF THESE PLANTS GROWING IN ABUNDANCE. A GOOD RULE OF THUMB, IF YOU DON'T KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR, DON'T EAT IT. DON'T EVEN TASTE IT."

Barbara Crouch/Director, Utah Poison Control Center: "BUT IT COULD BE JUST FROM A BUSH IN THE BACK YARD - BERRIES - CHILDREN PICKING OFF BERRIES IN THE BACK YARD TO THE POTENTIAL FORAGING INCIDENTS IN THE MOUNTAINS OR ON HIKING TRAILS."

Barbara Crouch says young growing spring plants may look tender and succulent - but their bite often is tough and toxic. Ed Yeates, Eyewitness News.

Plant poisonings are among the top five or six calls routinely received by poison control centers.

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