A Dangerous Plant Was Just Discovered For The First Time In Virginia And Here’s What You Should Know

A dangerous invasive plant has just been spotted in Virginia for the first time ever. Here’s what you need to know.

Giant hogweed doesn’t look harmful. In fact, its massive flower bundles lead many people to inspect the plant or even stiff its blossoms. However, giant hogweed is one of the most toxic weeds you’ll ever come across.

The sap of giant hogweed can cause severe burns if it isn’t detected and washed off immediately. Unlike plants like poison ivy, these burns aren’t merely itchy patches. The sap contains chemicals that are activated by sunlight, meaning that the skin beneath the sap will develop actual burns if exposed to the sunshine. A reaction can begin as soon as 15 minutes after contact.

The plant has just been discovered in Berryville in Clarke County. The weeds were apparently planted in the 1970s as ornamentals by a now-deceased homeowner. About 30 plants have been discovered in all.

Officials are now in the process of digging up the existing plants and will return to the area a few times a year for the next several years to make sure all traces of giant hogweed have been eradicated.