A TOXIC plant which can cause massive blisters and ulcers if touched has been spotted in Newport and Cwmbran.

Giant Hogweed, which can also cause blindness if it comes into contact with the eyes and is said to be thriving since the heatwave, has been reported on land near Maesglas Primary and Nursery School and in a section of Cwmbran Park.

The sightings have been reported on the PlantTracker website, which is run by the Environment Agency and associated organisations across the UK, including Natural Resources Wales.

The sightings have been reported on the banks of the River Ebbw on land south of the Southern Distributor Road, just before it crosses the railway line, and on allotments on the eastern side of Cwmbran Park, off Caernavon Crescent.

South Wales Argus:

The location of the plant in Newport, from the PlantTracker website.

South Wales Argus:

The location of the plant in Cwmbran, from the PlantTracker website.

Giant Hogweed, also known as Heracleum mantegazzianum, has a stout, bright green stem with dark red and hollow red-spotted leaf stalks and bristles. It generally flowers around this time of year with clusters of white flowers in a a large, umbrella-shaped head. It can grow to heights of up to 18 ft.

A description on the PlantTracker website reads: "Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a close relative of cow parsley originally from Southern Russia and Georgia.

"It can reach over 3m (10ft) in height.

"Although this striking plant can be attractive in certain situations, most gardeners will want to eradicate it, as it is potentially invasive and the sap can cause severe skin burns.

"It is widely distributed in the wild and poses a serious risk to people who are unaware of its potential for harm."

To view the PlantTracker visit planttracker.org.uk.