If You See This Plant, Don’t Touch It!

We can’t live without plants. They give us the oxygen we breathe and they also decorate the Earth and make our planet a wonderful place for living. Unbelievable but true, they can be dangerous for the people too. There are several plants that we must be aware of.

One of them is Giant . Heracleum mantegazzianum, commonly known as giant hogweed, cartwheel-flower, giant cow parsnip, or hogs bane, is a plant in the family Apiaceae. In New Zealand, it is also sometimes called wild parsnip, or wild rhubarb. It typically grows to heights of 2-5.5m. On the outside, it resembles common hogweed or garden angelica. It is phototoxic and it is considered to be harmful weed in many regards. Giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus region and Central Asia. It was introduced to Britain as an ornamental plant in the 19th century, and it has also spread to many other parts of Europe, the US and Canada.

Giant hogweed is a federally listed noxious weed. Its sap, combination with moisture and sunlight, can cause several skin and eye irritations, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness. Contact between the skin and the sap of this plant occurs either through brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem or leaves.

These effects come from the type of chemicals that it contains. When these chemicals come in contact with human skin they dramatically increase the skin’s sensitivity to light. This can cause blisters that are actually very painful and form within around 48 hours and can last from anywhere between a few months to 6 years. It can cause LONG TERM SENSITIVITY to light if the sap gets in the eye.

If someone get in touch with them, he must do this and protect himself:

  • Make haste because the toxic reaction may begin within only 15 minutes and make sure you get out the sun immediately.
  • Apply a safe sunscreen on the affected area. In the unfortunate event when the sap comes in the contact with the eyes, immediately flush out eyes with water extensively. Then be sure to wear sunglasses for protection.


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