Toxic Giant Hogweed Plant Has Spread to Virginia

Toxic Giant Hogweed Plant Has Spread to Virginia

Toxic Giant Hogweed Plant Has Spread to Virginia

Listed as a noxious weed in at least eight states, last week the giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) was spotted in Virginia for the first time.

As per CBS, the researchers have discovered just a single sighting of the plant in Clarke County, however, they have said that the invasive plant are also spread across Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Michigan, New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

According to the county, some complications if anyone comes into contact with a Giant Hogweed includes, varying skin reactions, but phytophotodermatitis can occur, meaning the sap makes the skin so sensitive to sunlight that sever burns can occur from normal exposure to the sun.

A giant hogweed plant, which can reportedly cause burns and even blindness, was discovered in Virginia.

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If Hollywood wanted to make a movie about a horrifying plant invasion, giant hogweeds would make a great candidate for the lead role - they are absolutely massive, incredibly toxic, and readily spread wherever their seeds take root.

Giant Hogweed contains a toxic sap that reacts to sunlight. If you somehow get the sap in your eyes, it can blind you. So if you call any of those locations home (or a vacation destination), it can't hurt to commit a few distinguishing features of the plant to memory.

Giant hogweed originates from the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian seas by Russian Federation - but it made its way to the the early 20th century. Specifically, about 30 specimens of the plant were found.

Giant hogweed is part of the carrot family, and for a toxic plant, it is surprisingly pretty. The giant hogweed is also distinguished by a hollow stem - about 2-to-4 inches in diameter - with purple splotches. The spray of white flowers looks similar to Queen Anne's Lace, but the experts at Massey Herbarium note that giant hogweed is much larger, with chunkier leaves.

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The Giant Hogweed could find its way into the Tidewater and Coastal Virginia area, the county said. Instead, the plant should either be pulled up using protective clothing or destroyed by use of herbicides. The sap can get sprayed around in a unsafe way.

If your skin is exposed to the plant's sap, avoid contact with eyes and wash it off immediately with soap and cold water, advises the New York State Department of Health.

If you think you've been burned by a reaction after coming into contact with giant hogweed, see a physician immediately. "The burns can last for several months and even once they have died down the skin can remain sensitive to light for many years".

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