Agriculture department warns of invasive hogweed

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(Host) The Vermont Department of Agriculture is urging people who spend time outdoors to watch out for noxious hogweed. The invasive plant’s sap can cause severe skin irritation, blisters and swelling if not handled properly.

Hogweed can grow up to 15-feet tall and has purple splotches on its stem. Its leaves can be five feet wide, and it bears umbrella-shaped flowers.

Giant hogweed first came into the U.S. from central Asia as a decorative plant. Several states, including New York, Massachusetts and Maine have reported hogweed infestations. Anyone who may have seen a giant hogweed plant should contact the Department of Agriculture.

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