Touch This Plant And You Could Go Blind — Is It In Minnesota?
This totally naturally-occurring plant is so nasty that if you touch it, you could go blind. It's been reported now in several states, but is it here in Minnesota?
The plant that's getting quite the buzz online lately is called giant hogweed. And, according to this Smithsonian.com story, yes, if you touch it-- and, specifically, get it in your eye-- it could cause blindness. While it's usually only temporary, in some severe cases, it could be permanent.
Yeah, it's nasty stuff. And, it's big too-- growing sometimes to nearly 14 feet tall.
It's not native to North America, it was originally brought here as an ornamental plant back in 1917 (yeah, that worked out well), and is now an invasive species that's making its way across the country.
Previously, it had only been spotted in northeast areas of the country, but various reports say it's now been spotted farther south in Virginia. And this CBS News story says one was even found in Michigan. Yikes-- that's only two states away from us here in the Bold North!
The good news for us, though, is that the giant hogweed hasn't been found in Minnesota-- yet. That doesn't mean, though, that we don't already have plants that can cause problems for you if you touch them-- remember the wild parsnip? Yeah, THAT one's here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. (Read more about it HERE.)
And, of course, there's always-fun poison ivy that's found here too. Maybe I'll just stay inside and take a nap!