Most people realize that there are toxic plants and they can be in your own backyard or on your front lawn. That is why you make sure that you keep an eye on your pets that go to the backyard to do their business, and keep an eye on your young kids that will also wander around the yard and their curiosity can make them want to examine the toxic plant and worse – put it in their mouths. All you can do in that situation is when the child is old enough or cognitively ready to teach them not to touch those toxic plants. However, not all adults realize that some plants that you see in their yards are toxic either. Not that most would eat them but its presence is disconcerting.
There is one flower, in particular, that is so toxic and dangerous that if it is spotted in the yard, local officials need to know about it as soon as possible. This is not comparable to poison oak or poison ivy. It is a flower so dangerous that even though it appears to have a benign look, it is not. The flower is known as hogweed.
If You See Hogweed In Your Yard, You Must Call Local Officials Right Away
Hogweed is described as white blooms and the blooms are in clusters with one another in a shape that has the appearance of an umbrella. The size of this flower is about two to two and a half feet tall and the stem consists of white hair that is coarse as well as purple spots. You may see this flower on the side of roads but it can be anywhere including your own backyard. The flower tends to grow in wet soil where there is a lot of sunlight present as well. The plant grows in states including New York, Vermont, Washington, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Oregon, Maine, Michigan, and Maryland. It can be seen in southern Canada such as Ontario too. Now you know what to look for when it comes to identifying hogweed, you will need to know why it is so toxic and why you need to keep it away from your presence at all costs.
Hogweed Is Harmful To Your Skin
If you touch hogweed, your skin will be severely damaged which is why you never want to touch it. It can harm animals too which is why you do not want it near your pets. If you touch hogweed, you will not only have major skin damage, but it will manifest in painful blisters and scars that will not go away. There are toxic compounds in the sap of hogweed known as furanocoumarins. When someone comes in contact with this sap, it will cause your skin to become extremely sensitive to ultraviolet lights which can result in a condition known as phototoxic dermatitis. That is an inflammatory response to sun exposure. You could only have some mild redness and mild burn-like pains but you do not want to take a chance with any of it.
Even if you do end up with a mild case of irritation, once it clears up your skin will remain extremely sensitive to the sun for years to come which means you will develop blisters easily. Therefore, you want to be extra careful when you see this plant. Do not touch it if you spot it in your yard. If you have pets or kids, keep them away from it and call your city right away. They will get someone who can remove the plant from your yard safely. Another thing to remember is that this plant is also invasive which is why you do not want it in your yard.