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Environment


Hazardous invasive plant moved into northeast Ohio
Hogweed sap can cause sensitivity to sunlight and blindness in extreme cases
Story by GRACE MURRAY


 
Photo courtesy of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources
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An invasive plant with sap capable of causing blisters and burns is making its way into Ohio.

The giant hogweed plant is characterized by a stem that can reach 15 feet tall with large, flat flowers. It’s now been reported in some of Ohio’s eastern counties, especially Ashtabula.

Cleveland Metroparks Terry Robison says the Metroparks have not yet seen signs of the “noxious weed,” and invasive species crews are working to keep it that way.

LISTEN TO: ROBISON ON GIANT HOGWEED

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“You get these pop-up populations that get dropped off sometimes by some kind of vector, and you have to deal with it," Robison says. "We don’t expect it to spread fast or spread wide, but we do have crews out that are constantly searching for this and other species coming into the park.”

Robison says if people do get sap on their skin, they should wash the area immediately and stay out of direct sunlight. 

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