Poisonous Plant That Causes Blisters And Scars Spreading Across The South

Virginia Officials Warn of Dangerous Invasive Plant			Wikipedia		20 Jun 2018

Virginia Officials Warn of Dangerous Invasive Plant Wikipedia 20 Jun 2018

The plant can grow up to 14 feet tall with large bunches of white flowers at the top of the plant.

If you find giant hogweed on your property, do not mow, cut or weed whack the plant. But according to Sara Chodosh of Popular Science, the plant has never before been seen in Virginia, and rarely that far south.

The latest confirmed sighting of giant hogweed came in Clarke County, Virginia. Researchers claim that the plant can burn, scar, and even blind a person.

Officials are forming a plan to respond to the discovery, said Debra Martin, a program manager with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

According to the Department of Ecological Conservation, the toxic plant can also be found in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and parts of West Virginia.

"The sap contains chemicals that are activated by sunlight", Metzgar said. Trying to cut the plant with a mower or a weed-whacker can be extremely unsafe, as it could cause the sap to spray onto the operator.

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The threat of giant hogweed is stubborn, since its seeds can remain dormant in the soil for up to 15 years.

Compressed soaked in an aluminum acetate mixture that is available at pharmacy provide relief form skin irritation.

The unsafe plant also grows in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The plants spread when birds or waterways carry the seeds to new locations.

In any case, if the toxic hogweed sap comes in contact with eyes then one should rinse the eye with cold water and put on sunglasses. These can grow for 10 years once they're dropped off, according to published reports.

The plant was first introduced to the United States in the early 20th century via Europe as an ornamental garden plant.

Recent sightings in OH include a giant hogweed plant in Pepper Pike, according to the Cleveland Metroparks. Giant hogweed is fast-growing and is known to invade roadsides, the edges of forests and empty lots, the AP said.

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