Beware: This kind of weed can cause burns and blindness

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CLARKE COUNTY, Virginia - You may like to burn a little weed now and then. Okay, no judgment, but if you're not careful, there is a weed that can burn you!

It's actually a plant called Giant Hogweed and, so far, it's only been found in Virginia about an hour west of Washington, D.C.

Dr. Jordan Letzgar at Virginia Tech said, "We were able to establish that a previous land owner had planted the plants in the 70's as an ornamental species."

While Virginia Tech researchers believe it was planted on purpose, they wanna get rid of it, and fast.  Hogweed is pretty, but the sap is pretty dangerous.  When exposed to sunlight, it can cause third-degree burns.

The experts say it looks kind of like a plant called Parsnip, which is native to Virginia.  So if you happen to be traveling anywhere near Clarke County, Virginia, keep a look out. And definitely, don`t touch it!  If the sap gets in your eyes, you could go blind.

"We'd like to make sure they're eradicated before they pose any kind of problem or start spreading across more of the state."

Maybe some weed-wackers will do the trick!

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