Parsnip plant

What does it look like?  Why is it dangerous? Handling the parsnip plant, which grows wild and is cultivated in gardens and allotments, may make your skin very sensitive to light, leading to burning, blisters and a painful rash. The plant’s sap  contains chemicals called furoumarins. These chemicals are absorbed by the skin and can… More Parsnip plant

Poisonous plants

What do they look like? Below, we list some of Britain’s deadliest plants.  Foxgloves This beautiful flower, known as foxglove or digitalis purpurea, grows wild and in many a British garden. The commonest colour, usually seen in the wild, is purple. It is in the top ten list of the commonest causes of accidental poisoning… More Poisonous plants

Thorns

What do they look like? A wide variety of plants found in the British countryside have thorns that can scratch or tear the skin and cause bleeding. They include: wild roses or briars, raspberries which grow in upright “canes” blackberry bushes, also known as brambles, which form vast messy clumps, often entwined among other plants… More Thorns

Giant hogweed

What does it look like? Giant hogweed is a big, untidy looking plant that can grow up to five metres tall, often along footpaths and riverbanks. If you see a plant which looks like giant hogweed but is smaller, it may be hemlock; it will not burn you like giant hogweed, but it is highly… More Giant hogweed

Stinging nettles

What do they look like? Stinging nettles are low plants with small leaves which often grow alongside country paths, or in large patches on the ground in forest or wooded areas. Their leaves are not particularly distinctive and so it is important to pay attention to plants you may brush up against. It is most… More Stinging nettles