It's always exciting to see colorful plants and flowers blooming around the Sioux Empire. However, some of these plants can be rather dangerous and ultimately toxic.

Some of these harmful plants (which may actually be found all over South Dakota) can make you feel really ill even if you just touch them. They can be especially harmful to livestock.

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South Dakota State University Extension (SDSU Extension) states that there are dozens of poisonous plants that grow within the fields. SDSU Extension explains, "Several species of poisonous plants are invasive and can easily establish dense stands when there is a disturbance on rangelands. Hemlocks, halogeton and buffalo bur can all be found throughout South Dakota and are toxic to livestock."

What are hemlocks?

These plants are surprisingly part of the carrot family. They have small leaves with five petals. Hemlocks are both toxic to animals and humans. Water and poison hemlocks are two species that are found in South Dakota. Anyone who touches this plant can experience serious skin reactions.

What are halogetons? 

From looking at this plant, you wouldn't think it could be dangerous. Looks can be deceiving. This type of plant is mainly found in the Badlands of South Dakota. It has long bluish-green leaves. It almost looks like a plant you would find underwater. Animals who eat this plant can experience weakness, shallow breathing, and a coma within two to six hours. Ingesting this plant will eventually lead to kidney failure.

What is buffalo bur?

This plant is a bit prickly. It is also known as prickly nightshade. It blossoms all summer long, and it's bright yellow in color. It can be found throughout South Dakota, specifically in ditches, feedlots, and river bottoms. The buffalo bur is lethal for cattle. Anyone who has sensitive skin may also develop a rash when handling this plant.

It looks like some plants are just meant to be admired from afar!

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