Nasty Plant in Virginia Causes Severe Burns

I got burned by something in california, probably the cow parsnip. Back of hands and forehead had what looked like spotty chemical burns
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We’ve got loads of giant hogweed over here it’s a risk on a lot of the sites we work on, as far I know it’s only giant hogweed that burns, cow parley and common hogweed are everywhere and I’ve never seen them cause anyone any harm.

Giant hogweed is scary stuff though.


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The ag center here has found six separate occurrences of giant hogweed in our county, first in the state. Definitely something to be on the lookout for.
You definitely need to stay well clear of it, there have been a few people over here they have had life changing burns from contact with it, the smallest amount causes burns.

Just brushing the plant is enough, the sap it produces causes your skin to become hypersensitive to the sun and the affect and scary last for many years after, it’s a horrible plant.

If you google it, there is a lot of images of the reaction.


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@Gorman; I don't know the answer to your question yet, but I found this cool PDF by New York State that tells a bit more about it, with great photos, etc. Also, I just noticed in that Wikipedia article that it says multiple species within the genus cause this burning reaction. Here's a quote from the article. "In all, 29 species of the Heracleum genus have been reported to contain furanocoumarin,[7] a chemical compound that sensitizes human skin to sunlight."

Here's the link to the PDF.