NY Agency Advises Residents on Toxic Giant Hogweed

ALBANY (AP) -
State DEC employees stands near a giant hogweed plant deemed toxic. (New York state Department of Environmental Conservation)
State DEC employees stands near a giant hogweed plant deemed toxic. (New York state Department of Environmental Conservation)

If you come across a plant that’s as tall as a house and topped with umbrella-shaped white flower clusters, don’t touch it. It might be giant hogweed, which is toxic and can cause blistering skin and blindness.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reminding residents to look out for the plant and report any new locations.

Giant hogweed resembles an enormous parsley plant, up to 14 feet tall with 5-foot-wide leaves and bristles on its purple-blotched hollow stems. Skin exposed to hogweed sap can be severely burned.

If you find one, DEC wants you to take photos and email them to ghogweed@dec.ny.gov.