Green Monster: Giant Hogweed

Posted: July 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac step aside, there’s a new hazardous Plant that could really ruin your summer… it’s nickname is the “blisterweed.”

Looks like An Umbrella in the Wild

The Giant Hogwood is enemy number one when it comes to hazardous plants to avoid. It might appear as a beauty but this plant is a beast… it’s a green monster about the size of an umbrella. It has been confused with the plant “Queen Anne’s Lace” which is often picked for wildflower bouquets. But beware! The Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant species WAY worse than poison ivy, oak or even sumac. The good news is that it’s easy to spot, the bad news is that it’s tempting to pick. When touched, the plants serum immediately causes blistering, numbing and leads to blindness if you touch your eyes after handling it. Ingesting the plant could be deadly. The plant has been spotted in the NYC area, found most recently on Long Island. Recent reports site Muttontown Preserve. Here’s a map to see where in New York the hogweed is being spotted: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/41952.html Each plant produces thousands of seeds which can be transported by wind and possible water (they are researching this.) Here’s the Press Release from Department of Environmental Conservation New York State environmental officials are trying to nip a huge, dangerous plant in the bud. The giant hogweed, a monster plant with flowers the size of umbrellas and sap that causes blisters and blindness, is spreading across New York. The Department of Environmental Conservation is asking for help locating outbreaks. The agency has set up a hotline at 845-256-3111 for people to call and report sightings of the invasive species. Callers are asked to provide photos and site information, but should avoid touching the plant. This is DEC’s fourth year of controlling giant hogweed. Six crews totaling 14 people will visit most of the 944 known giant hogweed sites. Sites with less than 400 plants will be controlled by hand cutting their roots; sites with more than 400 plants will be controlled with herbicide. The plant has been spotted in Nassau and Putnam counties.

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