Poisonous plants in Michigan are ones that both tourists and locals like hiking in Michigan because of its stunning outdoor experiences but have to stay cautious of all them.

Poisonous Plants in Michigan

Going outside is enjoyable no matter the weather, especially when there is so much to explore and take in. But that does not mean the state is free of poisonous, toxic plants that could easily harm you.

So, see more on this list of some of the top plants you need to beware of when in Michigan. 

Different Plants You Should Stay Away From in Michigan 

1. Giant Hogweed

The most hazardous and deadly plant in Michigan is likely giant hogweed. Fortunately, just two percent of plants are considered giant hogweed, making it a rare plant.

Dangerous Giant Hogweed Plants

Additionally, it has a distinctive appearance with large flower heads that resemble inside-out umbrellas and can reach a height of eight to 12 feet.

– Symptoms

This plant can produce phytophotodermatitis, an inflammatory reaction that makes the skin more susceptible to UV light and results in skin blisters if you touch it. It can also result in blindness if it gets into your eyes.

The sap of enormous hogweed is what gives it its viciousness. It produces terrible burning blisters and permanent scars when it gets into contact with the skin and is exposed to sunlight. 

The scar that it would leave is because the sap can cause either temporary or permanent blindness if it enters the eyes. Fortunately, mature gigantic hogweed is simple to recognize thanks to its towering stems, broad, deeply lobed green leaves, and substantial umbrella-shaped clusters of white flowers. Do not confuse it with some other plants that have a similar look!

– Cautiousness

Always use gloves and safety gear when pulling out a large amount of hogweed. Which means that you must make sure there isn’t any space between your sleeves and gloves where moving your arms can expose bare flesh.

Manual pulling of small plants is possible. Digging up larger plants is necessary, as a result you must make careful to get rid of the plant if it is already big before it starts to generate seeds. It takes effort to extract the complete root system from mature giant hogweed because its taproot can grow up to two feet long.

2. Juniper

Common junipers, indigenous to the cool climes of the northern hemisphere, have a virtually complete circumpolar distribution, occurring in the wild across sections of North America, Europe, and Asia. 

Evergreen Juniper Bushes

– Characteristics

As a result, the common juniper is among the shrubs with the greatest global distribution. Although the Chinese juniper is one that has gotten more attention in cultivation than J. Communis, hundreds of common juniper cultivars are still available.

A unique-looking plant, a juniper can reach heights of up to 30 or 50 feet. Typically, this shrub flourishes in open areas. It has three needle-like leaves that develop in a set. The inner surface of the green leaves has a white stripe, and they are colored green. 

While certain varieties of juniper are risk-free, others might give you extreme motion sickness, in addition when the amount ingested is too big, it would result in kidney failure. 

– Cautiousness

While the entirety of the plant may not be fully toxic, the berries still put you at risk of certain symptoms like extreme diarrhea and vomiting. If you wish to be on the safer side of things and remove the plant, use gloves and other equipment to keep yourself safe. 

Reactions occur upon consumption of the berries, but if one of the berries were to get squished on your skin, you might have an allergic reaction to that too, which is why you must be cautious and leave your kids and pet away from these plants. 

3. Lily of the valley 

White bell-shaped flowers with a bell shape can be found on the lily of the valley plants. Late spring is when the blossoms’ strong scent first emerges. The plants spread swiftly and offer cover from the sun’s glare. 

Delicate Lily of the Valley Flowers

– Symptoms

Although these are beautiful flowers but they includes cardiac glycosides, a toxic substance that can have harmful effects on people and animals if consumed. If consumed, lily of the valley can be dangerous, especially to young children. 

The mechanism of action involves cardiac glycosides, which, when present in foxglove, have an impact similar to exposure to digitalis. The plant is rated as a “one” on the poison scale, indicating that it is extremely dangerous and can cause death. 

It is quite similar to poison ivy, poison sumac, poison oak, poison hemlock or the conium maculatum, wild parsnip, and cow parsnip amongst other poisonous plants and this is because all these plants cause a severe reaction to the person who ingested it. 

– Cautiousness

Young children and animals can receive a deadly dose of the plant from as few as two leaves. It is a good idea to get rid of this plant if it’s in your landscaping. This can keep everyone safe in the yard and help avoid any incidents involving lily of the valley poisoning.

What you should do is to identify the species, and remove them from the roots. When you do this, make sure that you would be fully protected, and keep any harm away from getting to you. Which means that even after you are done, do not touch your eyes, or any part of your skin, because it would give a sting and even irritation. 

4. Tansy 

Tansy was previously a highly prized herb, but it has recently lost favor. It is a perennial frequently planted just for its numerous, tiny golden flowers that resemble buttons. However, you should know that it is a hazardous plant, and this is why animal farmers fear it, because it can kill the farm animals. Similar to poison ivy, both people and animals are poisoned by it.

Herby Tansy Plants

– Symptoms

Due to toxic compounds called pyrrolizidines in all plant sections, tansy is poisonous. These substances are not dangerous by themselves, but when they enter the liver, they transform into dangerous substances called pyrroles.

Pyrroles harm liver cells, resulting in liver cirrhosis, which is irreversible damage to the liver. The liver performs a variety of crucial tasks, but one of them is filtering and eliminating toxins that enter an animal’s body.

What you should know is that the sap that is called the “cirrhosis” is one that would impair the liver’s ability to operate, allowing more and more poisons to circulate freely throughout the body. Many of the symptoms of tansy ragwort poisoning are brought on by these poisons.

– Cautiousness

If done annually, plowing up pastures can be beneficial. Tansy can reinfest, though, if it’s present on surrounding land and not treated. Phenoxy herbicides have been used successfully in spot or general applications, and glycophosphate spot treatments, but it can be very toxic which is why you must stay away from it, and not even attempt to go near it, because the sap is highly intoxicating. 

Herbicides should not be applied once without additional pasture management. The fact that these herbicides might be hazardous to other plants or animals should not be forgotten.

5. White Baneberry 

There is a very good likelihood that any plant whose name includes the word “bane” is poisonous. The red and white varieties of the herbaceous perennial baneberry, which is a member of the buttercup family, are available. 

Poisonous White Baneberry Berries

– Symptoms

This plant cannot be eaten, and this is because the poisonous nature of White Baneberry, like Red Baneberry, is universally acknowledged. The plant is poisonous in every aspect. The berries are said to be very deadly, and consuming excessive amounts of them could result in cardiac arrest or respiratory paralysis.

– Cautiousness

White baneberry is not a robust spreader, making it reasonably simple to eradicate. Saturate the dirt around your plant before removing it to make it easier to slip out. Then carefully pry the plant’s root ball out of the ground by digging around it. 


These toxic plants are some of the most deadly to be aware of. Poisonous plants in Oaklahoma have similar precautions as poisonous plants in iowa and poisonous plants in alabama. But, before you start tamiong away at your gardens in Michigan for any of the above, just remember: 

  • Some Michigan plants that cause rashes include Lily of The Valley. If you get in contact with this flower, react urgently.
  • Poisonous hemlock in Michigan is found to be super dangerous even when being disgarded. So, if you plan to do so, make sure you wear the right equipment.
  • Tansy plants easy to mistake as harmless. If you spot tansy in Michigan, best to keep away from it.

So, which of the plants above will you be on the lookout for? 

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