This is probably something that should be taught in school but isn’t.
The plant is called “giant hogweed” and while the white flowers on it are quite charming, the sap of the plant is incredibly poisonous.
In fact, The Blaze reports that, “merely coming in contact with the sap can cause severe blistering on human skin and in some cases, third-degree burns.”
Inside the stalks and stems of the plant is a toxic sap to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, Lauren Fuller, a 10-year-old girl who was on a fishing trip with her father had to learn this the hard way.
The young lady came in contact with the the sap of the giant hogweed when she brought a stalk home. Less than a day later, the skin on both of her hands was burning with pain.
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When her parents took her to the hospital, they were told it was just sunburn. Unsatisfied with the diagnosis, Russell and Charlotte Fuller turned to Google to research their daughter’s symptoms – and quickly realized she was a victim of Giant Hogweed.
According to Ask a Prepper, exposure to the sap of the plant “can cause blisters that are actually very painful and form within around 48 hours and can last from anywhere between a few months to six years. It can cause long-term sensitivity to light if the sap gets in the eye.”
How To Recognize The Plant?
The size of the plant is one key way to differentiate it from similar looking weeds. However, before it grows taller than a typical human, it can look like cow parsnip and its cousin, wild parsnip.
How To Get Rid of Giant Hogweed?
If you spot giant hogweed nearby you can report it to the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) hotline – 1-800-424-8802 or your individual state agency. Officials warn not to remove the plant yourself or you may risk spreading seeds.