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Giant Hogweed the ‘Jaws’ of the Plant World

Courtesy of flickr user debs-eye

Remember that great line from “Jaws?” “We’re gonna need a bigger boat?” Well, if faced with the giant hogweed that’s creeping across the American Northeast, you might say, “We’re gonna need a bigger weed killer.” Seriously, I don’t think anything would make Mary Mary any more contrary than if this thing popped up in her garden. I can see the interview now, “So Mary Mary, how DOES your garden grow?” Mary Mary: “Well, it’s not! I’ve got a giant hogweed and the sap is toxic. Leave me alone.”

Yep, the sap is toxic! Sure, weeds are pesky, but this is ridiculous. This towering monster’s poison burns and blisters skin and causes blindness. The Department for Environmental Conservation has been put on the alert and is asking for anyone who sees this thing to report it. So far it hasn’t made it into Kentucky or Indiana, but it’s getting close–maybe a little too close for comfort. While it’s been spotted throughout New England and in New York, it has been seen as far south as Ohio. Seriously, what is a poisonous weed native to Central Asia doing here? Don’t we have enough problems without a real live remake of “Little Shop of Horrors?”

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