Officials Warn Never Touch Peculiar Looking Toxic Plant If You See It in Your Yard

by Madison Miller

For lots of people, summertime means lots of yard work, pulling weeds, and planting new gorgeous flowers to bloom throughout the season.

There’s plenty of dangerous plants out there — from poison ivy to the Venus flytrap. Some of the most dangerous plants can be the most beautiful and unique. The exotic colors and oddities make it that much more dangerous.

Giant Hogweed Is a Dangerous Plant

Now, officials are warning people to be on the lookout for a specific plant that may be blooming in their backyard. According to CBS News, this is especially the case if you live in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Mayland, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and Pennsylvania. However, it is most prominent in New York. The plant in question is giant hogweed. Experts are saying that if you happen to spot this wildflower, be sure to immediately call local officials and seek professional help.

It’s not going to just give you a rash or some itchy skin, giant hogweed has been known to cause both skin damage, such as blisters and long-term scarring, and even blindness. The best way to spot the plant is to look out for white flower blooms. The flowers are in an umbrella shape and are about two-and-a-half feet tall.

The plant as a whole can be from 7 to 14 feet tall.

If you were to get a closer look, which you should not, the wild herb has purple markings and white coarse hairs throughout. It will grow best in areas with a lot of sun and moist soil.

What to Do Following Exposure

Don’t try to eradicate the plant on your own. Officials have special herbicides to use and will then cut the plant at the root in order to ensure they will not grow back.

If you were to touch the plant and then rub your eyes, there could be treacherous problems. If the sap from the plant remains in your eyes for an extended period of time a side effect can be temporary vision loss. Unfortunately, this can then lead to permanent blindness down the line.

Despite being such a large, gorgeous plant, it packs quite the punch. According to Poison Control, the first thing you need to do after exposure to giant hogweed is to then wash the areas exposed with soap and water. Then you must avoid any sunlight for the next 48 hours. Exposure to the sap causes the skin to be more sensitive to ultraviolet light.

If you think your eyes were exposed, be sure to rinse them out with water for at least 15 minutes and put sunglasses on to block out any sun exposure.

Some other common poisonous plants that can be lurking in the yard include pokeweed, bittersweet nightshade, poison oak, jimson weed, and poison sumac.