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Giant Hogweed: NY’s Blistering, Blinding Backyard Weed is Spreading

By Admin on July 06, 2011 1:05 PM

Giant Hogweed, also known as the Green Monster, is attacking New York, exposing state residents to sap that can cause blindness and third-degree burns.

Indeed, the plant is so dangerous and has increased in such numbers that the New York Post reports that the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has set up a Giant Hogweed Hotline, with dispatchers that will send a team of weed-fighters to uproot any offending plants.

For those who are unsure if they are housing or live near Giant Hogweed, the plants are known for their large size (up to 14-feet), massive umbrella-like flowers, and 5-foot-wide leaves.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has a gallery here. Please share with your children and neighbors.

At one point Giant Hogweed was planted for its unique beauty and size, according to the Times Union. A garden showpiece no longer, the plants, which are notoriously difficult to remove, are being pulled out for the danger they pose to adults, children, and pets alike.

Besides leading to potential blindness and eye irritation, Hogweed sap sensitizes the skin to the sun. Sap-contaminated skin will burn, causing blisters, sores, and scars when exposed to sunlight, according to the New York Post.

It does not mimic poison oak or ivy.

Unfortunately, for those who come across Giant Hogweed or have been exposed to the sap, there is little you can do besides seek medical attention and alert the state for proper removal.

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