Giant Hogweed: If You Encounter This Plant, Whatever You, Do Not Touch It!


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Categories: Health & Nutrition

Who wants nasty blisters?

Today, I’m about to show you how you can get really rotten looking, foul smelling, puke-inducing blisters all over your body just by simply touching a plant.

Believe it or not, here in North America, there are only 10 invasive species of plants that are toxic. These include oleander, manchineel and the aptly named deadly nightshade.

But while many of those plants look like something you’d want to stay away from even if they weren’t poisonous, the plant I’m writing about today is something you might be tempted to pick and even put in your hair under the right circumstances.

Don’t touch giant hogweed. That would be a mistake. How big of a mistake?

Results like this can be attained without even eating the thing; merely by touching the plant, people can find themselves with nasty blisters like the ones on this poor kid’s hands.

The hogweed plant is actually part of the carrot family and can grow up to 14 feet tall. The danger comes from toxic sap within the stem.

Contact with the plant can even cause blindness.

CBS News did a report containing a few facts about this deadly plant that I recommend you look into. Here are a few notable points to help you identify and stay away from the plant:

Appearance

Giant hogweed, which is considered a noxious weed, has thick leaves stretching up to five feet. It has large clusters of white flowers that sit atop the stems in an umbrella-like pattern. The stems are green with white hairs.

Location

The Department of Environmental Conservation reports that giant hogweed can be found in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

The map below, from the DEC, shows spots where the weed has been eliminated.

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