A Hogweed scare at Gillies Lake has turned out to be Cow Parsnip. A lot of people were reporting online that they saw the plant and were posting photos. The MNR did some research and found that it isn’t the dangerous plant that can do serious damage with bad burns and blisters.

The Ministry of Natural Resources sent out a press release, with this information about Hogweed health concerns:

The clear watery sap of Giant hogweed contains toxins that can cause severe dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). You can get severe burns if you get the sap on your skin and the skin is then exposed to sunlight. Symptoms occur within 48 hours and consist of painful blisters. Purplish scars may form that last for many years. Eye contact with the sap has been reported (in the media and by various web sites) to cause temporary or permanent blindness. However, evidence of permanent blindness linked to exposure to Giant hogweed cannot be substantiated by any existing research. Coming in contact with Cow parsnip and Wild parsnip can cause similar reactions.

If you think you see Hogweed anywhere else in Timmins, go to the Invasive Species Website. Take some pictures as they will ask you to send some in.

More information about the plant is online: Click Here

Photo: Hogweed; Courtesy of the MNR