New giant hogweed sightings confirmed in Maine

Posted Aug. 01, 2011, at 11:15 a.m.
Last modified Aug. 02, 2011, at 5:07 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine officials say they’ve documented four new sightings of giant hogweed, a monster plant that can cause severe blistering and skin and eye irritation.

State horticulturist Ann Gibbs says the noxious weeds have been newly confirmed in Windham, Sebago, Northport and Lisbon Falls.

The giant hogweed can grow up to 14 feet high and have flowers that measure a foot across. They can cause painful irritation, permanent scarring and, in rare cases, blindness.

Gibbs tells the Portland Press Herald there are now 21 known spots around Maine where hogweed has been documented.