By Jake Sepulveda
There are a lot of wicked plants out there in the world, many of which go beyond irritating the skin and straight to devastating the digestive tract, and worse.
8 Ways to Identify Poisonous Plants
Whether you’re out for a weekend trek, spending the next 7 days in the wilderness, or looking to up your outdoor survival game, committing these 8 ways to identify poisonous plants is a great addition to your outdoor knowledge.
Stay away from wild or unknown plants that have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Milky or discolored sap
- Beans, bulbs, or seed pods
- Bitter or soapy tastes
- Three-leaved growth patterns
- Almond scented woody-parts or leaves
- Spines, fine hairs, or thorns
- Grain heads wit black, pink, or purple spurs
- Parsley, dill, or carrot-like foliage
Take your time when attempting to identify a poisonous plant (or any plant really). And remember, when in doubt leave it out. If you aren’t 100% certain what you’re dealing with, it’s best to avoid it all together. After all, better safe than sorry, right?
When all is said and done, it will be up to you to feed yourself and your family after a major disaster, if you’re ever lost in the wild, or things go haywire during an outdoor adventure.
By studying wild edibles and poisonous plants now you’ll know what to avoid and what to take advantage of when your belly starts to rumble. So, learning to identify poisonous plants and edible plants is key to making the most of your outdoor adventures.
*Note – If you’re into wicked plants and the crazy things they are capable of, you might check out Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart.
It’s a really great book that breaks down a lot of mystery, myth, and great info about some of the most painful pricklers, rashers, and slashers out there in plant life.