A very peculiar plant has been reportedly discovered in Virginia by a group of researchers from the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech. According to the researchers, this invasive plant known as Giant Hogweed could cause severe 3rd-degree burns. Moreover, if the portion of the skin affected by the sap of the plant gets exposed to the sun, the burns tend to become extreme. Moreover, as said by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the sap of these plants could even result in permanent blindness if it comes in direct or indirect contact with the eyes.
Until now, the Giant Hogweed plant has been only spotted once at the Clarke County in Virginia. However, as reported, the population of this extremely dangerous plant could even be noticed in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. The researchers are now focused on exploring the existence of this plant in the other regions of United States.
As per the reports describing the plant, the diameter of the hollow stems of the Giant Hogweed usually ranges up to 2 to 4 inches. The stem of the plant reportedly has characteristic raised spots of red and dark purple color along with bristle-like hairs. The floral blooms of the plant are white in color and resemble the shape of an umbrella. As said by the experts, the width of the floral blooms tends to range up to 2 and ½ feet.
The height of these plants that reportedly belong to the same family as that of the carrots could range up to fourteen feet. Such huge heights could reportedly tend to shed regions heavily thereby hurdling the growth of other native flora species. These plants are difficult to be recognized and could easily be misunderstood for the other non-dangerous plants like the Cow Parsnip and the Queen Anne’s Lace.
The authorities have warned the residents of Virginia to not remove the Giant Hogweed plants using a weed-whacker as this would result in the sap of the plant getting splattered. If the sap gets splattered even by mistake, it would tend to spread really quickly. Eradication of these plants from the region should only be carried out by physical methods or by making use of herbicides like that of triclopyr and glyphosate.