If spring time is known for anything it is the fact that beautiful flowers start blooming everywhere. But with flowers comes weeds, and some are more dangerous than others.
One plant in particular, giant hogweed, can cause severe injury to people.
The sap of the plant, which grows in the wild in both Canada and the United States, causes irritation if it comes into contact with the skin, but it gets worse. If your skin is then exposed to the sun, the sap will react negatively causing severe and even third degree burns.
Even scarier is that there have been cases reported where people went blind, some even permanently, after the sap came into contact with their eyes.
Giant hogweed has small white flowers that cluster in heads. The plant looks very similar to Queen Anne's Lace and wild parsnip, but the main difference is the size. Given its name, giant hogweed can grow very tall, up to 5 meters and the heads of flowers can be up to one meter across.
It grows all over, along roadsides, in ditches, by streams, in woodlands and old fields. Giant hogweed can also grow in people's backyards and gardens. It is considered an invasive species, meaning it spreads easily and will take over natural habits.
If you do come in contact with giant hogweed make sure you wash the area ASAP and do not let the affected area come into contact with the sun. If the sap gets in your eyes wash them out immediately and go to the doctors.