Giant Hogweed Plant Can Cause Blindness, Burns; Indiana Residents Warned

Image: Giant Hogweed Plant Can Cause Blindness, Burns; Indiana Residents Warned

Friday, 21 Jun 2013 12:10 PM

By Megan Anderle

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Giant hogweed, a dangerous plant, is growing in some parts of Indiana, and environmental officials say it can cause blindness and severe skin irritation when a person touches it.

The giant hogweed plant isn't deadly, but Philip Marshall, Division Director for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology, said his agency is warning residents to keep away.

Urgent: Should the NSA Spy on Americans? Vote Here Now.

“We are trying to get rid of it," Marshall said. "It has a big flower and there are a lot of look alikes.”

Just the oil from the plant on a person's skin and exposing it to sunlight can cause blistering, Marshall said. The sap in hogweed is clear and watery, but it contains toxins that cause photo-dermatitis, a skin reaction to ultraviolet rays Indiana station WTHI-TV reported.

The giant hogweed plant has been spotted in northern Indiana’s St. Joseph County and Kosciusko County as well as near railroad tracks, Marshall said.

The plant, which is normally recognizable by its height and white flowers, doesn’t blend in, with huge, sharply lobed leaves; hollow, hairy, purple-splotched stems, four inches in diameter; and towering umbrella-shaped white flowers that bloom in late spring, the Washington Post reported on the giant hogweed. It can grow to heights of 15 feet or more and looks like Cows Parsnip, which is a harmless plant.

Officials say to flush the area with water as soon as possible if you come in contact with hogweed.

The last time giant hogweed was found in Indiana was 3 or 4 years ago, according to local station WSBT-TV.

Originally from the mountains of Central Asia, giant hogweed made its debut in New York about 100 years ago as a dramatic ornamental plant. It has been popping up ever since, according to the Washington Post.

Workers wearing gloves, goggles and protective clothing remove the plant and treat the site with herbicides. Hogweed usually succumbs after three years.

Editor's Note: Get the Navy SEALs Cap – Celebrate Our Heroes

Related stories:

One Dead, Others Hurt in Second Louisiana Plant Blast


Global Warming Credited for Boosting Plant Growth


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
 
 
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

Teresa Giudice Home Raided, Even Christmas Presents Taken: Report

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 18:56 PM

A law enforcement team reportedly entered the mansion of Teresa and Joe Giudice, formerly featured on “Real Housewives o . . .

Paw Prosthetics Give Dog With Deformed Legs a Chance to Run (Video)

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 18:22 PM

Rescue dog Derby has new front paws after 3D Systems designed specially curved prosthetics to help treat deformations in . . .

Craig Ferguson Bids Farewell to 'Late Late Show' With Last Taping

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 17:49 PM

Craig Ferguson will sign off of "The Late, Late Show" for the last time on Friday, ending a 10-year run hosting the CBS  . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved