Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Invasive plant can cause severe burns, blindness

A Horrifying Toxic Plant Causing Third-Degree Burns and Blindness May Start Popping Up Near Cleveland Dangerous weed found in Virginia was intentionally planted
Cary Marshall | 20 June, 2018, 00:23

"It's a risky plant but I'm not overly concerned about it", Michael Flessner, an assistant professor and extension weed science specialist at Virginia Tech, said.

Corey Childs, an extension agent in the northern Shenandoah Valley housed in Warren County, visited the Clarke County site Monday to collect Giant Hogweed samples for the Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech. Although extremely rare, 30 Giant Hogweed Plants were recently spotted this week in Virginia.

"Giant Hogweed can grow to be up to 14 feet tall while cow parsnip is generally shorter", Metzgar said.

Since the discovery others have reported giant hogweed sightings, but Martin said the Berryville plant is the only confirmed sighting.

Giant hogweed is one of three plants defined in Virginia as a Tier 1 noxious weed and is heavily regulated. It is illegal to propagate, sell or transport the plant, according to the Ohio State University Extension. It is on those lists because it can crowd out native plants and create a health hazard.

More news: World Health Organization adds 'gaming disorder' to latest ICD

Property owner Robert Emma says officials have told him they will come the his property Thursday to remove the plants, then embark on a three to five year monitoring program to be sure any latent seeds do not germinate in the future.

Sap from the invasive plant, combined with sunlight, can cause third-degree burns and permanent blindness, according to researchers. This condition makes the skin highly sensitive to ultraviolet light.

- A risky plant that can cause blindness and third-degree burns has been discovered in Virginia, according to officials.

In Ohio, giant hogweed is typically found in northeast Ohio, especially in counties bordering Pennsylvania.

Other plants, such as wild parsnip, are also seen in OH and have similar effects.

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