Giant Hogweed Plants in Georgia?

I saw this article on 11Alive about a plant in Michigan called the Giant Hogweed.

The sap on its leaves, roots, flower heads, seeds and stem hairs can cause blistering and scars if they touch bare skin. And if it gets in your eyes, it can cause permanent blindness. Adding to the horror factor: If you came into contact with the plant, you might not know it because it can take up to 48 hours for the reaction to occur.


The plant doesn’t appear to be native to the United States. It comes from Asia and doesn’t appear to be wide spread. It was introduced here in the 1900s for gardens, but The State of Michigan adopted a search-and-destroy policy toward the plant in 1998 to help keep it from spreading.

I have to pay attention to poison ivy and poison oak when I’m out in our yard working, but I can’t imagine this. They say it is more miserable than poison ivy.

Giant Hogweed Plant
When giant hogweed sap contacts human skin and is exposed to sunlight, it can cause serious blistering and inflammation. The effect of brushing up against the plant can be scarring. The sap in a person’s eye can cause blindness. (Photos: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

I don’t guess we have to worry too much about this plant here in Atlanta and North Georgia, but it should make us pause and think about the fact that when we’re working outdoors, not all plants are equal!



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