1 / 9

Giant Hogweed

Giant Hogweed

Giant hogweed is a plant that originated in Europe, but can now frequently be found along roadsides and stream banks in Ontario. “It grows to heights of 2-5 metres, with purple coloured stalks that are often spotted, with course, jagged leaves,” notes Dan Truesdale, an Outdoor recreation expert and garden enthusiast at Mountain Equipment Co-op. He notes that giant hogweed is a phototoxic plant that can cause long-lasting purple and black scars. “And if it comes in contact with the eyes, it can also cause temporary or permanent blindness.”

Plants to avoid when hiking or camping in Canada

Shine from Yahoo Canada

Learning how to spot harmful plants in the Canadian outdoors can not only save you some uncomfortable reactions like swelling and itching, but it could save your life. Here are some to be especially careful of, and how to spot them if you come across them in the woods. -- Caitlin McCormack