With a name like giant hogweed, really, what else would you expect

giant hogweed nys decAfter reading about giant hogweed, we were starting to think we might have to add it to our list of dangers in nature that we will overly obsess about. From the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation info page about the invasive plant, which is native to the Caucus region of central Asia:

Giant hogweed is a biennial or perennial herb in the carrot family (Apiaceae) which can grow to 14 feet or more. Its hollow, ridged stems grow 2-4 inches in diameter and have dark reddish-purple blotches. Its large compound leaves can grow up to 5 feet wide. Its white flower heads can grow up to 2 1/2 feet in diameter. ...
Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a Federally listed noxious weed. Its sap, in combination with moisture and sunlight, can cause severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness. Contact between the skin and the sap of this plant occurs either through brushing against the bristles on the stem or breaking the stem or leaves.

The DEC has helpfully post a page with a bunch of photos of the plant, which is apparently flowering right now -- as well as some graphic photos of skin burned by the plant's sap. It recommends that if people suspect they have hogweed on their property, to take photos from a safe distance and send them in for ID, after which DEC will follow up.

So... yikes.

But then we saw the map of reported active plant sites around the state. The plant has only been spotted in a few spots around the Capital Region. (In related news: Oof, that really sucks for you, western New York.)

Now, at least for the time being, we can keep giant hogweed on our ok-good-to-know list and go back to obsessing over ticks carrying Lyme disease, rabid foxes, and the snapping turtle in Buckingham Pond that ate a Golden Retriever. (OK, one of those things might be a myth.)

photo: NYS DEC

Comments

Giant hogweed is an exceptionally bad plant and yes, its distribution throughout the region (and especially Western New York) is spreading. It loves wet areas so this year should yield a bumper crop. Don't feel like we're alone, though. I was in Northern California a couple months ago and it was all over the place there.

They are invincible!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HDDCJ9lKKI

Thank you Paul C. for posting that link so I didn't have to.

"[In Germany] 16,000 people were victims of it in 2003". Woooooot.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Mini hot dogs from Pete's Pups

It takes a lot of chutzpah to start a hotdog joint in the Capital Region. We know our hotdogs, especially mini dogs. While other parts... (more)

A big enough Lyft?

Over at NY Mag there's a long profile of Lyft, the taxi-app service that's most publicly been pushing for New York State legislation that would... (more)

For sale: caboose

The realization of your lifelong dream of owning a train caboose approaches: New York State is selling an old caboose via its state surplus eBay... (more)

Solarize Albany

There's a boom in solar energy installations right now, including in the residential market. And all sorts of companies have popped up offering home installations... (more)

Take a different way

One of the takeaways of an analysis of on-time flight arrivals and departures for ALB by the Biz Review's Todd Kehoe: avoid flying through O'Hare.... (more)

Recent Comments

But where else would it go? We need a roadway connecting those areas somewhere or else downtown businesses are doomed. Whats' the alternative, demolishing downtown to put a highway there? I don't think so. 787 is here to stay. I think we need to look at lower hanging fruit solutions and make the best of what we have. ...

Four takeaways from the kickoff for the study about the future of I-787

...has 10 comments, most recently from Dot Beech

Solarize Albany

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ryan

For sale: caboose

...has 2 comments, most recently from ethan

Latham Sonic now open

...has 5 comments, most recently from Thepersonalispolitical

Rail, River, Hudson II

...has 5 comments, most recently from Nancy L.