Parsnip's Poisonous Cousin Burns Woman

Invasive plant blamed for injuries comparable to second-degree burns in Vermont
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2018 11:11 AM CDT
Innocent-Looking Plant Burns Like Fire, Woman Warns
'Poison parsnip' is seen in Bennington, Vt.   (Charlotte Murphy via AP)

(Newser) – A woman was left with severe burns and blisters on her legs after encountering an invasive species of plant in Vermont, reports the AP. Charlotte Murphy says she developed painful blisters overnight after brushing against "poison parsnip," which Live Science explains is a wild version of the common root vegetable. It's also known as "hobo parsnip." Murphy says the blisters got so bad she had to go to the hospital to see a burn specialist. The Essex woman learned her injuries were comparable to second-degree burns and caused by the invasive plant, and now hopes to warn others. A state health official says people should wear long pants and sleeves while in tall grass to avoid the sap in the plant, which reacts with the sun to cause accelerated burns. (In Virginia, a teen suffered burns after contact with a rare giant hogweed.)

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