Were you aware that there's a plant in Michigan so hazardous that it can induce third-degree burns? You've more than likely seen it growing up alongside the road but never thought twice about it.

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This invasive plant is considered a public health hazard that ranks higher than poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac due to its potential to harm humans.

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Relative to the carrot, the Giant Hogweed can grow 10 to 15 feet tall and can be extremely dangerous if handled. This is one plant you don't want to mess with. If not careful you could end up with third-degree burns.


According to michigan.gov, exposure to Giant Hogweed can result in a severe skin reaction called photo-dermatitis or photo-sensitivity, which can occur up to 48 hours after contact. The sap is so toxic that it can cause your skin to blister when exposed to sunlight. This stuff is so nasty that if your eyes come into contact with the sap, it may result in temporary or potentially permanent blindness.

Back in 2019, a young man came into contact with Giant Hogweed and was hospitalized with severe burns. You can see his full story in the video below.

What to Do if You See Giant Hogweed:

If you see a plant that appears to be Giant Hogweed and you need help identifying it, send an email to MDA-Info@Michigan.gov, along with any pictures.

E-mail four photos: 1. Whole plant, 2. Leaf, 3. Flower/seed head, 4. Where a leaf joins the stem.

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