UK heatwave sparks explosion in giant hogweed plant which leaves people with sickening blisters as experts warn ‘don’t touch them’
THE heatwave has sparked an explosion of a giant hogweed across the UK which has left people with agonising blisters. Experts have warned not to touch Britain’s most dangerous plant, which can tower up to 23ft high. Giant hogweed originates from Afghanistan and has been boosted by the 33C heatwave in the UK. Its toxic sap can burn and blister the skin of anyone who touches it.
This week a cyclist spotted the dangerous plant near Abberton Reservoir in Colchester, Essex. Last month Adam Hodgson, 11, was rushed to hospital after he came into contact with it while playing in the park. The young lad rubbed the poisonous plant on his leg after being stung by nettles, thinking it was a dock leaf in Barrhead, Renfrewshire. Now ahead of the school holidays parents are being warned to tell their children not to touch the plant.
River Trust expert Mike Duddy said “If you don’t know what the plant is, it’s exceedingly dangerous. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most dangerous plant in Britain.”
Horticulturist Dean Simmons was left in agony after brushing against one of the plants growing in Taunton, Somerset, in the summer of 2015. Its tentacle-like fronds touched his bare legs and he suffered agonising skin burns that doctors say would take months to heal. Speaking at the time he said: “I feel so stupid – because of my job, I had knowledge of this plant and was still caught out. I was out fishing and didn’t see it until it was too late – and a day later I was on morphine.”