Poisonous plants in Minnesota are commonly found – they include, among others, poison wild parsnip and giant hogweed – and we are sure you will get what you are searching for in this article.

Poisonous Plants In Minnesota

How do I identify these plants and what if I get poisoned by them? What are the best conditions required by these plants to grow well? Continue reading to know more about these plants!

List of Poisonous Plants in Minnesota

1. Poison Hemlock (Conium Maculatum)

This biennial herbaceous plant is a member of the Apiaceae family and is native to Europe.

Poison Hemlock sunlight requirements

The plant easily gets tangled with the regular plant. Some symptoms of poisoning include trembling, blurred vision, and irregular heart rate, among others. What to do if you touched poison hemlock? Seek medical help.

– Growing Season

This invasive species grows all year round aggressively and has an average height of four to six feet. The leaves are compound, more than eighteen inches long. The Poison Hemlock Minnesota plant bears small and white flowers in the form of umbrella-shaped clusters. There are quite a few plants that look like poison hemlock, so make sure that you can identify them!

– Specific Needs

It could be more specific about its sunlight requirements. It thrives in a good few hours of sunlight and does equally well in filtered sunlight and every type of soil.

The plant grows invasively along river banks and streams when given plentiful water. Only a small amount of water is sufficient for it to survive.

2. Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca Sativa)

It is a biennial flowering herb belonging to the Apiaceae family and is native to Europe and Asia.

Wild Parsnip growing along roadsides

The plant is commonly found growing along roadsides, leaving the skin sunburned. Now, you must be wondering what to do next. Let’s see more of this. Try rubbing alcohol if the symptoms are not too severe.

– Growing Season

The seeds germinate in spring and develop into rosettes for more than a year until a flower stalk is born. Each plant bears more than a hundred small yellow flowers in loose compound clusters. The compound umbel is between four to eight inches, and the flowers curl inwards.

– Specific Needs

The plant prefers the sun but tolerates shaded areas as well. It grows in every type of soil and has no preferences for the soil’s pH level. It propagates through seeds that are oval, wide, and small.

3. Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron Vernix)

It is either a woody shrub or a small poisonous tree in Minnesota that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family and is native to North America.

Poison Sumac thrives in moist places

Poison Sumac thrives in moist places like marshes and is mostly seen growing outdoors. Its oil causes an allergic reaction when inhaled or touched.

– Growing Season

It bears green berries in spring and lasts throughout summer. These berries are in the form of clusters that differ from those borne by the non-harmful sumacs.

The plant is quite tall and reaches a height of thirty feet. It produces yellowish-green flowers in June and July. Each of its stems bears seven to thirteen leaves. There are a few plants that look like poison sumac, so be sure to be able to identify them!

– Specific Needs

It prefers full sun to partial sunlight and acidic soil. The plant grows in extremely wet areas like swamps, wetlands, and shores of lakes and streams. The plant propagates through its berries and shoots.

4. Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron Radicans)

The ivy plant is a woody perennial that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family and is native to eastern North America.

Poison Ivy poisonous weeds

It is categorized as one of the most poisonous weeds in mn – several varieties ranging from shrubs to vines. The plant is used for the treatment of sewage water.

– Growing Season

The plant grows in abundance in spring and summer. The shrubs are up to four feet tall, and their leaves are four inches long and two inches wide.

Its flowers are off-white with orange centers in clusters like buds. The leaves are compound, and each leaf has three leaflets. The middle one has a longer stem than the rest of the two.

– Specific Needs

Ivy plants thrive in both full sun and shade. It does not have a specific preference for the soil type or pH. It self-propagates through rhizomes and seeds that birds or animals disperse.

5. Poison Oak (Toxicodendron Pubescens)

It is a perennial that belongs to the Anacardiaceae family and is native to the Pacific Northwest.

Poison Oak growing in forest environments

The Poison Oak Minnesota plant is commonly found growing in forest environments. It has a poisonous compound called urushiol that has severe reactions in humans.

– Growing Season

It takes on a green cloak in February and March and shows a quick growth rate over the next two months. The plant is three to six feet in height. The flowers bear one seed each, and the leaves contain three further leaflets. 

– Specific Needs

It grows as a dense shrub in the sun, whereas as a vine in shaded areas, reaching long in search of light and holding onto the trees for support. The plant sprouts vegetatively from rhizomes and from root crown through seeds.

6. Giant Hogweed (Heracleum Mantegazzianum)

It is a herbaceous biennial and perennial that belongs to the Apiaceae family and is native to the mountain region between the Black and Caspian Seas. The plant is found growing in forests, meadows, and ditches.

Giant Hogweed toxic to humans

It is toxic to humans, fish, and native plants. Dark and pigmented blisters appear after one day of exposure to the plant.

– Growing Season

A single plant produces up to twenty thousand seeds and reaches a height of fifteen to twenty feet and a width of five feet. The plant bears white umbrella-shaped flowers in clusters up to two and a half feet wide, while the leaves are five feet wide.

– Specific Needs

It is hardy and prefers to grow in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. The plant likes to be watered frequently. It reproduces once in a lifetime and through seeds. 

7. Water Hemlocks (Cicuta Maculata)

It is a perennial that belongs to the Apiaceae family and is native to almost all of North America.

Water Hemlocks causing aggressive and painful seizures

The plant contains cicutoxin which is responsible for causing aggressive and painful seizures. Common symptoms include nausea, pain in the abdomen, etc.

– Growing Season

The plant blooms from July to September and has a height between three and seven feet.

The flowers are white and large in the form of a dome. The flowers are small and have five petals that are borne on long stems.

– Specific Needs

It prefers partial sunlight but tolerates full sun to full shade as well. The soil preference is well-drained but evenly moist and slightly acidic. The plant thrives in water but does well in a bit of water too. It propagates through seeds.

8. Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica)

The plant is a herbaceous perennial that belongs to the Urticaceae family and is native to Europe and Asia but is now naturalized everywhere.

Stinging Nettle cause inflammation

It grows in damp and cultivated environments. It has several compounds that cause inflammation.

– Growing Season

It has a fast growth rate and reaches maturity mid-season when planted in spring. The plant is three to seven feet tall and one to three feet wide. It has spiky leaves and white-to-yellow flowers.

– Specific Needs

It thrives in full sun but tolerates shade too, but too much shade causes leggy and too tall growth. The plant has moderate water needs and grows invasively in rainfall. Mature plants tolerate drought. It is the easiest to propagate. Dig up the plant and move it to a new location.


Poison plants are toxic when touched or their oils inhaled. Before deciding which plant to grow, always remember the following points from the article above:

  • Plant Poison Hemlock away from the other plants as it is toxic.
  • Plant the Ivy for its vines to add visual interest to your landscape.
  • Stinging Nettle Minnesota plants can be planted for their attractive foliage.

After knowing more about these plants, which one would you like to grow?


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