Massive and dangerous weed found in Michigan.
Recent reports of a massive hogweed plant have led health officials in Calhoun County, Michigan to advise residents to take caution. According to CBS news, the hogweed has many dangerous properties, and contact with the plant should be avoided.
The sap, leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, and stem hairs all carry toxins which can cause blindness if they make contact with the eye. Furthermore, these weeds can cause irritation, blistering, and scarring when they make contact with bare skin. In the event of bare skin contact with the hogweed, health officials advise washing skin, and flushing eyes with water, then seeking professional medical attention as quickly as possible.
The hogweed is capable of growing to massive heights, approaching 18 feet, and has a long green stem. The stem is covered with bristles baring either dark red or purple spots, and the plant has a white flower.
Most commonly, the plant is found in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic be regions, but can also be found in the Midwest and Northwest. The most common locations of hogweed within these regions are along streams and rivers, in fields, forests, and occasionally along the sides of roads.