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City of Waterloo issues warning over hogweed plants

Giant hogweed produces a toxin capable of causing a severe skin rash. Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut / Global News

The City of Waterloo has issued a warning about giant hogweed, as the dangerous plant has appeared in several places throughout the city.

The city says it is a recurring issue in some places, such as Bechtel Park, as there are many seeds in the soil.

READ MORE: Canadians urged to watch out for invasive hogweed plant that burns, blinds

Waterloo says it has an eradication program but the process is difficult since each giant hogweed plant can produce over 100,000 seeds, which can survive in soil for a long time.

WATCH: Severe Giant Hogweed burns have Ontario man issuing warning

The Nature Conservancy of Canada says giant hogweed is one of Canada’s most dangerous plants.

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The non-native plant grows up to six metres in height and has large clusters of white flowers at the top.

READ MORE: Giant hogweed is spreading across Ontario

Touching the plant won’t put you at risk but coming into contact with its clear, toxic sap can cause rashes, blistering, burns and even blindness if it touches the body and is then exposed to the sun.

Waterloo is asking that if you come into or spot a giant hogweed plant, call 519-886-2310 or e-mail environment@waterloo.ca so that it can be eradicated as soon as possible.

*With files from Canadian Press

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