WATAUGA COUNTY, N.C. - Giant hogweed, a toxic plant that can cause blindness, has been found at six sites around Blowing Rock, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Watauga County is the only county in North Carolina where the invasive weed has been found.
The weed's sap is dangerous to humans and can cause painful blisters or even blindness.
Officials said giant hogweed has been quarantined in Watauga County. Plant pest specialists are continuing to try and get rid of it, and they have been surveying surrounding areas for additional populations.
The weed has also been found in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Indiana, Illinois, Oregon, Washington and Virginia.
In North Carolina, officials are asking anyone who thinks they have seen the plant to contact Dr. Bridget Lassiter at firstname.lastname@example.org or (919) 707-3749. You can also report invasive species to the NCDA&CS by calling 1-800-206-9333 or by email at email@example.com.
Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com:
- Police: Sex offender kidnapped woman from gas station, sexually assaulted her
- Charlotte couple admits to forcing children into prostitution in Myrtle Beach
- CMPD: Woman robbed at gunpoint at Ballantyne Bank of America ATM
- WATCH: Keith Monday's Wednesday forecast outlook
- Bar worker shot following fight in Plaza Midwood, police say
© 2018 Cox Media Group.