Giant Hogweed Invades New York. Noxious 12-Foot Weed Can Cause Scarring and Blindness

Posted on July 7, 2011

Giant HogweedThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) is warning residents not to touch the Giant hogweed, a Federally listed noxious weed invading the state. The warning may remind some of The Day of the Triffids.

The NYSDEC says the sap of Heracleum mantegazzianum, in combination with moisture and sunlight, can cause "severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness."

The NYSDEC also warns, "This plant poses a serious health threat; see your physician if you think you have been burned by giant hogweed. If you think you have giant hogweed on your property, do NOT touch it."

The Giant hogweed grow to over 12 feet tall. Its leaves can grow up to five wide and the large white flower heads on top of the Giant hogweed can reach 2.5 feet in diameter.

A special page set up by the NYSDEC for identification can be found here. There is also a Giant hogweed hotline available, 845-256-3111.

Photo: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

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