The Anglophone South School District is warning students and parents to be cautious of some plants located around schoolyards, which can burn skin and even cause temporary blindness.


Giant hogweed is one of the plants located around school yards in the Anglophone South School District that can cause potential human health issues. (CBC)

The noxious plants are not located on any of the school properties, but can be found in ditches and wooded areas around them, said superintendent Zoe Watson.

Wild parsnip, for example, contains a sap that can cause a poison ivy-like reaction on contact with skin.

Giant hogweed also contains a toxic sap that upon contact and exposure to sunlight can cause skin irritation, rashes and blisters, as well as temporary blindness if the sap gets in someone's eyes.

"So we certainly want to educate the students and the families about these and the importance of basically staying away from them," said Watson.

The district sent out information this week about the noxious plants to schools in the Saint John, Sussex and St. Stephen areas to share with parents and students.


The stems of giant hogweed contain a toxic sap that can burn skin and cause temporary blindness. (CBC)

‚ÄčWatson says she is not aware of any incidents of children coming into contact with such plants. Issuing the information is just a safety precaution, she said.

Wild parsnip has pinnately compound leaves, with sharp teeth that can typically be misshapen and distinctive yellow flowers, according to the provincial government's website. The plant typically grows 0.5 to 1.5 metres tall.

Giant hogweed typically grows up to five metres. It has large, shiny leaves with coarse, serrated edges, much like a jagged saw edge, the government's website says. The stems are bristly with purple spots or blotches and its flowers are umbrella shaped.