If You See This Plant, Whatever You Do, Do NOT Touch It!

They should teach this in school but unfortunately, just like most important life skills it is up to us to educate our children and each other so make sure you share this! The plant is called giant hogweed and the pretty white flowers can be quite alluring, but whatever you do make no mistake touching it!

Kids are especially in danger due to curiosity.

This might come as a surprise, but there are about 10 plants in North America (not including fungi) that kids need to know to steer clear of. Currently, kids are too busy preparing for and taking tests, something nations excelling at education such as Finland don’t do (source), rather than learning practical knowledge such as how to identify poison oak or worse, hogweed!

So spread the word and teach your kids. Here’s what you should know:

It’s called the giant hogweed and it can grow to heights of 14 feet or more. The white flowers appear innocent enough. However, a nasty secret is hiding in the sap of the plant.

giant hogweed plant

The results of merely brushing up against it are horrifying. If you accidentally break a stem or touch any of the sap you will begin to develop grotesque blisters! Due to the height of the stalk, this is easy to accidentally do. Characteristics to watch out for include green stems with purple patches that are a bit hairy with white hairs.

What will it do you?
If you come into contact with the plant’s sap you can expect severe blistering, possible blindness if it comes into contact with your eyes and possibly third-degree burns. 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 six years. It can cause LONG TERM sensitivity to light if the sap gets in the eye.

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