Watch out for giant hogweed, Guelph warns hikers

City staff in Guelph are warning people to watch out for giant hogweed after it was found along a trail earlier this spring. The plant's sap can cause severe burns.

Plant with sap that can cause severe burns found along a trail this spring, city says

Heracleum mantegazzianum, or giant hogweed, has been spotted along a trail in Guelph already this spring. City staff warn people not to touch the weed, but to take pictures of it and report it. ((CBC))

Guelph is warning people to watch out for giant hogweed after some was discovered on a trail earlier this spring.

The city issued the warning on Twitter over the weekend. Staff said the weed was removed and warned people not to touch it. Instead, they should take a photo of the plant and report its location to the city.

The tweet did not indicate where in the city the plant was discovered.

Giant hogweed is an invasive, noxious weed that the city has deemed a public health hazard. The clear, watery sap inside the plant can cause severe burns.

The plant looks similar to Queen Anne's lace or wild carrot but is considerably larger. It can grow as high as four meters.

It grows in open, undisturbed sites with lots of sunshine but can also be found in wooded areas as well as the partial shade along the edge of a woodlot.

The city recommends anyone exposed to giant hogweed wash the affected area immediately, keep the affected areas out of direct sunlight and seek medical attention immediately.

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