Poisonous plant reference guide published by Virginia Tech - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Poisonous plant reference guide published by Virginia Tech

The fruit of the pokeweed plant, which is a large perennial plant found throughout the state. (Source: NBC12) The fruit of the pokeweed plant, which is a large perennial plant found throughout the state. (Source: NBC12)
Pokeweed leaves. This large specimen grows outside the NBC12 studio. (Source: NBC12) Pokeweed leaves. This large specimen grows outside the NBC12 studio. (Source: NBC12)
(WWBT) -

Virginia Tech has issued a reference guide for poisonous plants throughout the state.

Some may be familiar to you, but others are more obscure and their dangers not as well-known.

"The Socrates Project" was an effort between the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Master Naturalist Program.

The leader of the program, Alfred Goossens of the Old Rag Master Naturalists chapter, confirmed with Blue Ridge Poison Center that numerous emergency room visits have been associated with people coming in contact with these plants.

The report lists Giant Hogweed as one of the plants, which has been highly publicized this summer due to the burns it can cause.

A teenager from Spotsylvania County was admitted to VCU Medical Center with burns on his face and arms after he came into contact with the plant while performing landscaping work.

Among the other plants listed are poison ivy, pokeweed, horse-nettle, wild parsnip, mayapple, Jimson-weed and Virginia creeper.

The report provides pictures, descriptions and information about where it can be found, what parts of the plant are toxic and what symptoms the plant can cause.

There are also some interesting facts about the plants, such as American false-hellebore was once believed to be magical by Native Americans and British soldiers in Jamestown had to be quarantined after eating Jimson-weed.

Poison Hemlock also is among the plants listed and gave the project its name because it is believed to be responsible for the death of Greek philosopher Socrates.

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