BOSTON (CBS) – A potentially toxic and invasive type of weed has blanketed the front lawn of a Massachusetts elementary school.
Memorial Spaulding Elementary School in Newton, which recently had construction completed on its front lawn, is littered with hundreds of jimsonweed plants.
Deborah Reynolds, a Boston anesthesiologist, happened to be walking her dog in front of the school when she noticed the toxic weeds.
Reynolds warned school officials and parents about the problem.
“It’s a very dangerous plant,” Reynolds told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz. “If it gets exposed to the skin of the child, it can actually cause a whole host of symptoms.”
Symptoms can include pupils dilating, blurred vision and hallucinations. If ingested, the plant can cause serious illness or death.
Newton Parks and Recreation director Robert DeRubeis says the city is monitoring the problem.
“We cut and bagged the site with mowers, we did it twice,” said DeRubeis. “But we’ll keep watching the site.”
Cutting the plant may not be enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control, all parts of the plants are poisonous, including the stems and roots.