Health officials warn of 'Giant Hogweed' plants

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Health Officials Warn of 'Giant Hogweed' Plants

CALHOUN COUNTY, Mich. (WXMI) -- Somewhere in Calhoun County, a rare, yet highly noxious weed has been located.

The Calhoun County Health Department is confirming that "Giant Hogweed" has been identified in the county. The exact location is not being released, to keep people from searching for it and potentially being exposed to it.

According to the health department, direct, bare-skin contact with the sap-covered leaves, roots, flowers, seeds or hairs on the stem of the plant can cause painful blisters and long-lasting scars.

The hogweed that was found was removed by Robert Coward of the WBCK Garden Show and the area where it was found will be monitored for the next several years to see if any new plants sprout up.

Take a look at these pictures to see the plant:

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Dangers of 'Giant Hogweed' plant
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Health officials warn of 'Giant Hogweed' plants
** ADV. FOR MONDAY, AUG. 12 ** The flowering tops of a 12-foot tall giant hogweed or Heracleum mantegazzianum, stands growing in North Canaan, Conn., Thursday, Aug. 8, 2002, before being cut down. The hogweed, new to Connecticut, is considered a noxious weed that can give blistering, oozing rashes to anyone who touches it's sap. The plant, on the federal noxious weed list, has been infiltrating the northeast this summer. (AP Photo/Steve Miller)
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JULY 13 ** Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture agent Michael Zeller stands beside a flowering a giant hogweed plant before cutting it down and spraying it on a farm in McKean, Pa., Erie County, on Wednesday, July 9, 2003. Hogweed can be dangerous to people. Its sap causes a change in human skin, effectively making it a capacitor for the sun's energy. Exposure to sunlight causes blisters. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY JULY 13 ** Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture agent Michael Zeller shows a section of a stem from a giant hogweed plant cut down on a farm in McKean, Pa., Erie County, on Wednesday, July 9, 2003. Hogweed can be dangerous to people. Its sap causes a change in human skin, effectively making it a capacitor for the sun's energy. Exposure to sunlight causes blisters. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
A spent flower head covered with seeds of the giant hogweed plant is seen in Hanover, N.H., Friday July 31, 2004. Triggered by light, a toxin in hogweed sap attacks human skin, causing swelling, burns, blisters and permanent, purplish scars, and is probably the most dangerous plant in the state. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Flowerhead of a Giant Hogweed plant.
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"Giant Hogweed" can be identified by the dark red or purple spots and bristles on the green stem, the white flower heads that produce thousands of seeds, and the green leaves located at the base that grow to 5 feet in diameter.

If you think you've discovered "Giant Hogweed" in your yard, call your local health department.

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