However, we don’t seem to share that enthusiasm for a plant with beautiful flowers that would do the same for us.
Maybe we should start putting this plant in some Cheetos and see what happens.
But seriously…don’t even think about touching or eating this poisonous invasive plant that appears in many states, including Wisconsin and Illinois.
The plant I’m talking about is Giant Hogweed, and it looks like this:
You can’t tell from the pictures, but this stuff can grow to be 10-15 feet tall
Here is some basic information about the University of Illinois Extension:
This invasive plant has been confirmed in several states including Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Oregon and Michigan, and in August 2006, the giant hogweed was confirmed in Lake County in northeastern Illinois.
Giant Hogweed has been confirmed in several other Illinois counties, and has also been confirmed in Wisconsin (Iron, Manitowoc, Portage, and Sheboygan counties).
This is why you should take giant hogweed seriously
Unless you enjoy reaching new levels of pain and agony, don’t get too close to these things. The purple spots and white hairs all over the stems aren’t very attractive, but it’s the succulents that will get you going.
ForestryNews.com says that giant Hogweed sap contains photosensitive compounds that can cause a skin reaction when exposed to sunlight. When a plant is bruised or broken, it can release sap.
“If a person touches the sap and then exposes the area to the sun, swelling and blisters can occur in the skin and may result in permanent scarring. Even worse, contact with your eyes may result in temporary or even permanent blindness.”
See: Here are 30 Foods That Are Toxic to Dogs
To prepare yourself for any potential accident, always keep your vet’s phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic that you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline that you can call (888) 426-4435 for advice.
Even with all of these resources, the best treatment for food poisoning is to prevent it in the first place. To give you an idea of what foods can be dangerous to humans, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there is any surprise for you.