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City of Airdrie warns residents to watch out for poisonous weed

Anyone who sees black henbane on their property is asked to pull the plant from the root, bag it, and dispose of it in their garbage.

The City of Airdrie is warning residents – particularly pet-owners – to keep an eye out for a poisonous noxious weed this summer.

According to a City of Airdrie Facebook post, the municipality has been notified of an increase in black henbane growing around the community this year.

According to Blair Kreiner, a City of Airdrie integrated pest management and technician, the increased spottings of the poisonous plant are due to the recent influx of rain the south-central Alberta region experienced this summer. Kreiner added in dryer summers, black henbane has been less active but this year's spring rainfall made for the perfect growing conditions for the toxic plant. 

"Black henbane is most commonly found in poorly established landscapes or where soil has been disrupted," the City's Facebook post stated.

"Plants are able to mass produce seeds, can be irritating to skin, and contain alkaloids that are poisonous when ingested."

Kreiner said henbane carries toxins and if ingested, people may experience impaired vision, convulsions, and coma. If skin comes into contact with black henbane, a rash may occur. 

The toxins within the plant can affect animals so pet owners are advised to ensure their furry friends are not consuming the plant.

The City added black henbane can be identified by its tall thick stem, large light green leaves, and showy yellow flowers with purple veins and throats. Should an Airdrie residents spot the plant in a park, Kreiner suggests staying away from the poisonous growth.  

Anyone who sees black henbane on their property is asked to pull the plant from the root, bag it, and dispose of it in their garbage, Kreiner said. 

"Use caution to avoid skin contact," the City reminded residents.

Anyone who comes across black henbane in public spaces in Airdrie is asked to please report it to the City's parks department at 403-948-8400 or parks@airdrie.ca

For more information on black henbanes, visit abinvasives.ca

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