Beware of Giant Hogweed Plant in Maine That Could Result in Large Painful Blisters
Heracleum mantegazzianum, better known as Giant Hogweed, and part of the carrot family, is an invasive plant that appears sporadically throughout the state and looks similar to Queen-Anne's-lace.
What Does it Look Like?
Maine.gov describes the plant as being able to grow as tall as 20 feet high. The stems are green with purple blotches and have a white flower on top. Similar to the much smaller Queen-Anne's-lace.
How to Handle
If you come across one of these plants, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry advises extreme caution and to avoid it if at all possible.
However, if removal of the plant is necessary wear gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and eye protection.
You can get rid of the plant by manual, chemical, or using biocontrol like utilizing cattle and pigs who aren't armed by the dangerous plant.
If you come in contact with Giant Hogweed, be sure to thoroughly wash the exposed area and stay out of the sun for 48 hours.
What Makes the Reaction So Bad?
Giant Hogweed causes a rash, but not one that can easily be ignored. The sap from Giant Hogweed actually removes your skin's natural protection from harmful UV rays. This is why it is of the utmost importance to stay out of the sun after exposure. Otherwise, you will run the risk of third-degree burns and large painful blisters.