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Garden: Beware The Hogweed… for it will harm you

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I’d been meaning to share some words on this one for awhile, but its discovery in Michigan today (and recently being officially outlawed in Illinois) gave me a hearty reminder: Beware The Hogweed.  This gigantic, invasive and highly poisonous oddity first popped-up here in Lake County, Illinois back in 2006, with plants found in Lake Forest. It’s a weed with a ton of lookalikes – the 15′ Hogweed is almost like a Queen Anne’s Lace that’s scaled to dinosaur size. It’s prickly stalk helps spread sap that can cause blindness, or extremely painful blistering, itching burns that are activated by sunlight. Having already seen it pop-up in other states throughout the Midwest this summer, I’m helping to share the word here on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in hopes that those who encounter this dangerous plant will know to stay away, and alert the proper authorities to help eradicate it. Embedded below are a couple of videos that you need to watch – but be warned that images of the burns may be disturbing for some. The University of Illinois also has some helpful materials that are worth a read, and while this story is certainly picking up steam, you can take comfort in knowing that while Hogweed is spreading, it is still a very rare plant.

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Have you ever seen the Giant Hogweed?

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