The Virginia Tech group posted photos of the plant on Facebook, urging anyone who comes across a giant hogweed plant to report it - and be careful not to touch it. If you must touch giant hogweed, wear disposable rubber gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and trousers.
The plant's watery sap contains photosensitizing agents.
Giant hogweed seeds are dispersed across short distances by the wind, but they can make it further if they are accidentally transported in soil.More news: Merkel May Get More Time To Reach Immigration Deal
The skin becomes irritated nearly immediately, with blisters typically forming within 48 hours of contact. The white flowers on top look a little bit like Queen Anne's Lace, and sit kind of like an umbrella over the rest of the plant. "The phototoxic reaction can begin as soon as 15 minutes after contact, with sensitivity peak between 30 minutes and two hours after contact".
What if I think I spot the plant? Here are handy tips to help you identify giant hogweed. Compresses soaked in an aluminum acetate mixture - available at pharmacies - can provide relief for skin irritations.
The plant has been spotted in NY but also, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and parts of the Pacific Northwest. It was first discovered in Wisconsin in 2004. Its real name is heracleum mantegazzianum.More news: Trump signs order ending separation of migrant families
Environmental officials in Virginia said while there has just been one confirmed case in Clarke County, they are warning residents in other parts of the state to stay alert for potential sightings. Metzgar says these plants are not highly proliferous as evidenced by the fact these have been there since then and have not been found anywhere else. The plant is a native of the Caucasus region of Eurasia, between the Black and Caspian seas. Giant hogweed is fast-growing and is known to invade roadsides, the edges of forests and empty lots, the AP said.
When the plant spread across New York in the past, The New York State Department of Health recommended that anyone who came in contact with the plant wash it off with cold water immediately and get out of the sun. If necessary, the DNR can even obtain a court order to eradicate it.More news: Fan rushes to scene of XXXTentacion's death