The Nature Conservatory of Canada has releasead nation-wide warnings on the invasive Giant Hogweed plant, which when come into contact with it's sap causes skin rashes, blistering, burns and even blindness if exposed to the sun. Apparently this stuff can make your skin feel like it's on fire, which is someting I'm sure we would all like to avoid.

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It turns out there's only been confirmed sightings of the plant in 3 provinces. Great right? Well, here's the thing...

One of those provinces is Quebec, along with Ontario and British Columbia. With such a big health and safety concern being so close to home it's important to be on the lookout and know how to avoid this evil-spawn of a plant. There are specific locations in Quebec where the Giant Hogweed has been identified to grow, as well as what environments it thrives under. 

@dianalimburgembedded via  

Regions Giant Hogweed has been confirmed in

  • Bas-Saint-Laurent
  • Capitale-Nationale
  • Chaudière-Appalaches 
  • Estrie
  • Lanaudière
  • Laurentides
  • Laval
  • Mauricie et Centre-du-Québec
  • Montérégie
  • Montréal 
  • Outaouais
  • Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean
  • Côte-Nord
  • Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Now that you know where to keep an eye out for Giant Hogweed, there's some specific environments you might want to avoid while hiking through Provincial Parks, walking your dog, or even just travelling within Montreal. Environments to look out for include:

  • River banks and damp areas
  • Along ditches
  • Along railway tracks
  • Along roadsides
  • In meadows
  • In vacant lots
  • In gardens 

If you think you've been in contact with Giant Hogweed you can call Info-Santé 811. The Nature Conservatory of Canada is also encouraging people to report all sightings to the iNaturalist.ca app.

Source 1 | Source 2

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