COVENTRY, Conn. (WTNH)-- Plant experts at UConn are calling for folks to keep an eye out for a certain invasive plant.
UConn and the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group often put out notices but this one could save you some pain.
That plant is Giant Hogweed or scientifically known as "heracleum mantegazzianun."
Donna Ellis is UConn's invasive plant expert. She says Giant Hogweed from Eurasia made its way to the US both by accident and on purpose as people often trade seeds. Now, it is pushing out native plants and she wants folks to be on the look out for the flat top white flowers and large leaves.
"The leaves are very deeply cut and jagged. So they come in at many angles, a lot of points to them and edges," said Donna Ellis, UConn, Senior Extension Educator.
It may seem silly on a hot day to wear boots and a long sleeve fleece but Donna Ellis says these plants are more than a nuisance and they're certainly harmful to more than just other plants.
The clear sap can be painful.
"It can act like as an anti-sunscreen. So you will be more sensitive to sunlight. It can also cause burns and blisters. It can change to color of your skin for a long time. So some permanent scarring can occur," said Ellis.
Now, it's found in 25 Connecticut towns including in Coventry. Ellis says it could be spreading.
"We really want people to be concerned about it and take precaution to avoid coming in contact with it," said Ellis.
To manage the plant you can try to use a herbicide but if you decide to cut it down, you should wear gloves and be completely covered so you avoid contact with that sap.
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