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Giant hogweed, wild parsnip and other dangerous plants to avoid

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Warning: Poisonous plant can cause 3rd degree burns and blindness

30 giant hogweed plants that can cause 3rd-degree burns and permanent blindness was discovered in Virginia.

Whether you’re hiking, gardening or just to enjoy the great outdoors, dangerous plants — such as giant hogweed and wild parsnip, among others — can be found in many different parts of the US.

Here is what to know about the different types of herbs that can produce serious burns or, in some cases, lead to blindness or even death.

Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed can grow up to 14 metres in height and has green stalks with purple blotches and white hairs.

(iStock)

Not to be confused with cow parsnip, giant hogweed plant can be identified by its white flowers, which are clustered in an umbrella shape, according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

The plant, which can grow up to 14 metres long, has green stems that “extensive purple spots and prominent coarse white hairs,” the preservation of the department says. Giant hogweed has large, green leaves that “deep cut.” The leaves reach a length up to 5 metres wide. It is mostly found in the USA. in New England, in the mid-Atlantic states and the Northwest.

Caution: the Sap of the giant hogweed the skin can be more sensitive to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can cause sunburn.

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Painful blisters often form if the correct action is not taken after the sap touches a person’s bare skin. The injuries of the sap can take weeks, if not longer, to heal and often leave scars. The sap can also cause blindness if in the eyes of the New York DEC warns.

If you come into contact with the plant, wash the affected area with water and soap and cold water, the department shall, as heat and moisture can make it worse. Stay out of the sunlight and consult a doctor if the symptoms do not improve.

Cow parsnip

Cow parsnip can be identified by the “white flat-topped flower clusters” and 2.5 metres wide leaves.

(iStock)

Although similar to giant hogweed, cow parsnip can be identified by the “white flat-topped flower clusters,” according to the New York Department of Conservation. The leaves are less broad, usually only voltages of up to 2.5 metres.

The stems have white hairs, but they are finer than that of the giant hogweed plant. Cow parsnip stems are green, but do not have the purple spots.

Cow parsnip also has sap, which can irritate the skin, similar to giant hogweed, but it is less toxic.

The plant is “very cold-hardy, and is the most common in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, where it has a long history of use as food and medicinal plant,” according to the New York DEC, which added that the plant is mostly everywhere except for the south.

The wild parsnip

The wild parsnip plant can grow to 5 metres tall and has a greenish-yellow stem.

(iStock)

The wild parsnip is an invasive species that can lead to severe burns and blisters, just as the giant hogweed plant. Both plants contain photosensitizing furanocoumarins, which make the skin more sensitive to the sun.

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The wild parsnip plant can grow to 5 metres tall and has a greenish-yellow stem. The wild parsnip has no hair or the hair. The leaves are compound, pinnate, 5 to 15 toothed leaflets, ” the New York DEC describes, the add of the leaves are “variable lobed, and yellow-green.” It can be found in the U.S.

Are flowers that are flat-topped, umbrella-shaped are yellow, not white.

Poison hemlock

Poison hemlock can grow up to 12 metres high and has small, white flowers in racemes.

(Minnesota Department of Agriculture)

Found on roadsides, pastures and ditches, poison hemlock is highly toxic to humans and animals, according to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).

If ingested, poison hemlock can cause trembling, salivation, pupil dilation and a rapid, weak pulse, before it leads eventually to coma or death,” according to the MDA.

Poison hemlock can grow up to 12 metres high and has small, white flowers that “occur in 4 to 8 inch, umbrella-shaped clusters,” according to the Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board (NWCB). The stems are hollow and hairless. Similar to giant hogweed, poison hemlock stems have purple spots.

When handling this plant, the Washington State NWCB recommends the wearing of protective clothing and gloves. The plant is “established in almost every state in the United States,” according to the National Park Service.

Queen Anne’s lace is often mistaken for poison hemlock because both plants are similar. However, the Queen Anne’s lace, is edible and is related to dill and coriander, according to the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The plant is also sometimes referred to as a wild carrot, and is used as a contraceptive in the history.

Queen Anne’s lace can be identified by its white flowers, often with a purple center. The flower clusters are more spread out, and the stems have no spots.

Stinging nettle

Stinging nettle can grow up to 8 feet tall and has thin branches and dark green leaves.

(iStock)

Stinging nettle is the name on the correct way, as are hollow, “stinging hairs” can provide a painful sensation, similar to that of a bee sting, according to the New York DEC.

The end result is usually a “burning, itching or tingling sensation” for a couple of hours after they come in contact with the plant. While uncomfortable, the department notes that the stings of this plant is “more of an irritant than an allergic reaction.”

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Stinging nettle can grow up to 8 feet tall and has thin branches and dark green leaves. It is mostly found in the eastern part of the country, but has been spotted in Ohio, according to Ohio State University.

“The leaves are opposite along the stem. Long clusters of small male or female flowers are produced on the basis of each pair of leaves. They are usually light green or brown, and tend to look messy and confused,” according to the New York DEC.

Stinging nettle root and other parts of the plant can be used as a medicine, the treatment of a variety of different types of disorders, such as urinary tract infections, kidney stones, muscle pain, joint pain and more. It is edible if cooked.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

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