Do Not Touch These 4 Plants in New York to Avoid Painful Burns & Scarring
There are lots of things to love about summer in Central New York. The warm temperatures, beautiful sunsets, and plenty of outdoor activities, from the water to the trails. One thing not to love? Several plants that could cause severe burns if you touch them. And they are growing all over the state.
It's Giant Hogweed season. Just like annual flowers and the leaves on the tree, giant hogweed plants begin flowering every summer. Unlike flowers, you DO NOT want to touch them.
Do NOT Touch
The NY Department of Environmental Conservation warns residents to avoid hogweed, a plant that will make poison ivy seem like a walk in the park.
Giant hogweed is a very large, non-native, invasive plant whose sap can cause painful burns and scarring.
Sap Causes Severe Burns
Calamine lotion won't do much to help relieve the pain the sap from this plant can cause. It stands between seven to fourteen feet tall with broad leaves sometimes spanning nearly five feet in width. Other characteristics include purple splotches on the stem with white coarse hairs.
It's tricky properly identifying the giant hogweed plant because there are several look-alikes. Wild Parsnip, Cow Parsnip, and Angelica can also cause burns, but not nearly as bad as Hogweed. Here's a look at 3 other painful plants in New York to avoid this summer season.
Where possible, the DEC eradicates Hogweed not located on private property or with a property owner's permission. If you have spotted a plant in the wild, the DEC asks you to snap photos of flowers, leaves and stems and email them to:
firstname.lastname@example.org for confirmation.
Read more about Giant Hogweed and similar-looking plants at the DEC's website.