An invasive species is rapidly spreading in the Quad Cities.
The two plants, which are referred to as teasel and poison hemlock, are commonly spotted along side ditches and near bodies of water. Experts are concerned the species could mar the Quad Cities’ ecosystem, and people’s health.
“The poison hemlock is a deadly plant,” said Brian Ritter, the director of Nahant Marsh in Davenport. “If it’s accidentally consumed, it can cause serious illness or death.”
The poison hemlock began sprouting in the Quad Cities a few years ago, Ritter said. He added that the teasel popped up about 15 years ago and has spread quickly.
Ritter said the poison hemlock and the teasel plants out compete other plants for resources.
“It’s probably the biggest issue that our natural areas are dealing with right now,” Brian Ritter said, director of Nahant Marsh in Davenport.
According to Ritter, the teasel species isn’t harmful to humans, but can overtake other plants.
“It’s something that we can’t ignore anymore. We’ve let a lot of these things slip in and it’s time to take action and do something about it,” Ritter said.
In the video above, find out what you can do if you locate this species in your yard.