Tuesday mornings we often run into the Cornell Cooperative Extension volunteers in the park The park is severely understaffed and these people, the nicest and most knowledgable people you will ever meet, are donating their time. So we limit ourselves to one question.
Last week they were pulling invasive Tree of Heaven plants. One of them held up a root ball that looked like six foot long white carrot. This morning they were just getting out of the vehicles down by the lake and we asked them about the white flowering plant that seems to be everywhere. They told us it is called Snakeroot, it is native to this area and it is not technically invasive. But they agreed it is acting like one this year. One of the old-timers said, “we like to call it ‘a brut.'”
It is called Snakeroot because the roots were commonly used to treat snakebites but the plant is poisonous to the touch. It is everywhere around here and Peggi has a few afternoons pulling the plants on our property. Legend has it that Abraham Lincoln’s mother died from drinking milk from a cow that had eaten the plant.