The Dangerous Plant Hogweed: What you need to know

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(WETM) – Heavy rainfall the past few weeks has led to plants growing extra fast in the region. Some of these plants have been invasive and dangerous to people. When you think of a dangerous plant, you probably think of a plant like poison ivy. Although, there are multiple dangerous plants and hogweed happens to be one of them.

Hogweed is a large plant that grows upwards of 14 feet and has white flowers on it. You might be wondering why this plant is dangerous. The sap from this plant causes photosensitivity which results in burns. Photosensitivity results in an immune system reaction to sunlight hitting the skin. This is what the sap can result in. Glen Miller from Chamberlain Acres says by breaking the stems or brushing against the sap from the plant will result in burning. If you get this sap on you, immediately wash the area with soap and water while keeping it out of sunlight for 48 hours. Miller states that pokeweed often gets mistaken for hogweed but it is a harmless plant.

Hogweed is a Federally-listed noxious weed and New York law prohibits its possession with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport, introduce or propagate. If you see hogweed on your property, it is important to not touch it and reach out to the Department of Environmental Conservation to have it removed. Although hogweed is not super common in the area, it is still around.

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