Invasive Phragmites (Blackburnnews.com File Photo)

Invasive plant species an issue during spring growth

Staff at the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation are asking people to watch for invasive plant species as spring growth begins.

Ryan Martin says the most harmful invasive plant species to humans is Giant Hogweed. It can grow to ten feet tall, and has white flowers on the top.

“If you get its sap on your skin and then your skin comes in contact with sunlight, it will create painful blister burns and can actually leave you scarred for years and it can actually take about two years for it to stop burning in the sunlight.”

If you believe you have a Giant Hogweed plant on your property, Martin says it’s best to leave it alone and call a professional.

Another common invasive species is phragmites.

“They’re the big reeds growing by the water’s edge. They can grow to about fifteen feet and very tightly packed and they can basically suffocate everything. They love our wetlands, those are perfect habitat for phragmites and they just suffocate everything out and release toxins into the ground.”