I know, it sounds a little triffid-like. But it is true that this plant, giant hogweed, is something that you should watch out for – and avoid – due to the sap causing severe skin irritation. In fact, these burns can cause hospitalisation and scarring.
Get the stuff into your eyes and the sap can cause blindness. So this is serious.
In the UK, it is illegal to plant the weed. In the USA the government has classified it as a toxic noxious weed. So the authorities take the threat from this plant seriously.
But recently, its incidence has increased in the USA and it can now be found in the following states.
- New York
- North Carolina
- Parts of the Pacific Northwest
If you’re travelling to any of these areas, it’s a good idea to watch the identification video below, especially if your vacation includes walking, hiking or otherwise enjoying the outdoors.
Main image courtesy Rüdiger Wölk.