Don't Touch This Plant; Burn, Blindness Threat!

Posted by Kyle Brookings on Sunday, June 24, 2018
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Imagine a plant that could cause serious burns and even blindness just by touching it...

Well it just so happens that this plant exists.

For the first time "giant hogweed" has been spotted in Virginia. The plant has also been seen in Maine, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and parts of the Pacific Northwest.

The sap of giant hogweed causes phytophotodermatitis in humans, resulting in blisters and scars. These serious reactions are due to the furocoumarin derivatives in the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds of the plant.

In Canada, the plant has been sighted in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and in isolated areas of Newfoundland. It has been seen in Quebec since the early 1990s.

The plant's spread in Ontario began in the southwest and was seen in 2010 in the greater Toronto area and Renfrew County near Ottawa.

Giant hogweed was introduced into New York about 1917, and was recorded in British Columbia in the 1930s.



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