There is a wild plant that grows in the Central New York region each and every year area that is very dangerous. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is warning hikers to watch out for giant hogweed.

News 10 ABC is reporting that the Giant Hogweed is on the national noxious weed list and is illegal to grow and transport in the United States. However, there is wild hogweed in our area and it's very dangerous.

How do you know if it's the weed that's dangerous? Hogweed has little white flowers, large leaves with grooves, prominent white hairs and purple blotches on the stems.  The weed itself isn't the issue, it's the sap inside. The sap can cause skin irritation and burns along with temporary blindness if contacted with your eyes.

What to do if you come in contact with giant hogweed? The DEC recommends washing it fast:

Immediately wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and keep the area away from sunlight for 48 hours. This plant poses a serious health threat; see your physician if you think you have been burned by giant hogweed. If you think you have giant hogweed on your property, do NOT touch it.

The DEC has provided a complete guide on what to watch out for, and how to get it treated.

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