If you see this flower in your garden, immediately call the local authorities.

Most of us are well aware that there are highly poisonous plants. But it’s not just three-leaf greenery like poison ivy and poison ivy that you need to watch out for in the woods – even a seemingly harmless flower can cause serious damage. There is actually a flower that could grow in your garden that is so dangerous that experts say you should seek professional help immediately. Read on to find out if you should call your local authorities.

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If you see a giant hogweed growing in your garden, it’s not a flower you want to stop and smell. As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) explains, giant hogweed is technically a herbaceous plant, but it is most recognizable by its white flowers. The white flowers are usually grouped together in an umbrella shape that stretches two and a half feet high. And the stem of this grass is covered with purple spots and coarse white hairs.

It can be found anywhere from roadsides and fields to your own backyard, but it tends to grow in sunny areas with moist soil. The good news is that giant hogweed is easy to recognize since, as the name suggests, it can grow from 7 to 14 feet tall.

According to CBS News, giant hogweed tends to grow in Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, and it is especially important in New York. .

Since it’s both poisonous and invasive, experts say you should call local authorities immediately if you suspect Giant Hogweed is growing in your garden. Authorities will use herbicides and cut the roots of plants in an attempt to eradicate them, for example The New York Times.

Atopic dermatitis, red, itchy hands with blisters and chapped skin.

Even if you wait to call local authorities, you should never touch this herb yourself, says DEC. Contact with giant hogweed can lead to serious skin damage, such as painful blisters and long-term scarring.

According to Poison Control, giant hogweed has toxic chemicals called furanocoumarins in its sap. When a person’s skin comes in contact with the toxic sap, it makes them more sensitive to ultraviolet rays and can lead to phototoxic dermatitis, an inflammatory skin reaction to the sun. Due to this reaction, you can experience anything from mild redness and irritation to blisters, burns and scars. And even if your irritation goes away within a few days, the affected area may remain hypersensitive to the sun for years, producing recurring lesions and blisters, for example. Prevention.

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Man covering eyes with hand from sunlight

But a severe skin reaction may be the least of your worries when it comes to giant hogweed. Eye irritation and serious eye injuries have been reported by some of those who have come in contact with the poisonous plant, according to Poison Control. And if the sap comes in contact with your eye for too long, it can lead to temporary vision loss that can lead to permanent blindness, according to experts at Grosinger, Spigelman & Gray Eye Surgeons.

“Not everyone who comes in contact with the sap will have a reaction, but due to the potential for serious injury, it is best to avoid contact if possible,” Poison Control advises of giant hogweed.

Giant allergic hogweed plant growing on the ground.  Poisonous Heracleum herb inflorescence.  Leaves and flowers of blooming hogweed.  Poisonous perennial herb in the meadow.

Reactions to the sap can start quickly, within 15 minutes of first contact, according to Poison Control. So if you have come into contact with any part of a giant hogweed, you need to act quickly. The first thing you need to do is wash the affected areas immediately with soap and water. You should also avoid sunlight for at least 48 hours.

If the sap gets in your eyes, you will also need to rinse them with water for at least 15 minutes and put on sunglasses to avoid contact with the sun. Prevention Also recommends keeping the affected areas out of direct sunlight or carefully covered with sunscreen over the next few years, as they will remain hypersensitive.

“For minor skin irritations, topical steroids like hydrocortisone cream can be applied to help relieve the discomfort,” advises Poison Control. “If the symptoms persist or worsen, then it is important to seek medical evaluation.”

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