Friday, July 08, 2011

New Yorkers: Beware of 'Monster' Plant Causing Blisters, Blindness

It makes the carnivorous Venus flytrap look downright tame. A monster plant with flowers the size of umbrellas and sap that causes blisters, scars that last years, and blindness is spreading across New York, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. It's an invasive species called the giant hogweed, and the DEC seeks help locating outbreaks so they can send crews to nip it in the bud. According to the agency, the plant's sap contains photosensitizing furanocoumarins, which can cause a serious skin inflammation within 15 minutes of skin contact in conjunction with sunlight. The sap prevents skin from protecting itself from sunlight, according to health and safety instructions from the DEC, which leads to a very bad sunburn. Heat and moisture (sweat or dew) can worsen the skin reaction.
The agency has a Giant Hogweed Hotline at 845-256-3111 for people to call and report sightings...more

Somebody sue to have this listed as an endangered plant. After all, the giant hogweed is a "keystone" species and indicator of overall ecologic health.

New Yorkers need to experience how the Endangered Species Act works and understand this plant is deserving of immediate protection.

To that end, The Westerner is starting a Hault The Hogweed Hotline Campaign right here and now. Let's bring a hault to the destruction of this beautiful plant!

And wouldn't it be exciting if this plant was to show up in the confines of Washington DC? I can think of some great habitat to be designated there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A keystone species is one that depends upon many other interdependent native species as well as the physical existence of native flora and fauna for habitat, food, and survival. What evidence do you have that this Hogweed has such requirements?

Such comments as yours Mr Dubois simply shows ignorance, arrogance, and disconnect from the natural world around you and the fact that nature is the life support system of the planet.