Wild parsnip is a non-native weed that is prevalent throughout much of Illinois, including right here in DuPage County.
And though it can cause rashes and blistering, experts don’t want the public to panic.
“You can walk up, you can touch it, if you brush up against them you can touch them. There really isn’t much of a problem. The problem arises is if you break the plant and get the sap, like the internal juices of the plant on your skin and that can cause problems with people,” said Scott Kobal, Plant Ecologist with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
The sap can be avoided by wearing long sleeves when cutting or mowing the plant. But it shouldn’t be a problem for most people, as it frequently grows in fields, meadows or other open areas.
“Probably just operate with caution. It’s just like any other plant out in the preservers just like poison ivy or some others. Learn what it looks like and just try to avoid it,” added Kobal.
Wild parsnip can grow up to six feet tall.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
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