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Better Know Your Giant Hogweed

The Giant Hogweed is an invasive plant whose sap causes third-degree burns and blindness. It can reach heights of 14 feet and is found throughout North America. This year, officials are particularly alarmed by an increase of sightings of this massive flesh-eater in New York State. Here is a handy chart to help you identify the Giant Hogweed, aka Real Life Triffids. What do you get when you're burned by Hogweed? That's right. Hogwarts. Woo-hoo! Snuck in some Harry Potter SEO! Checkmate, Google...checkmate.

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  • The Giant Hogweed has white flowers with 50-150 flower rays clustered into an umbrella shape that are up to 2.5 feet across.

    The Giant Hogweed has white flowers with 50-150 flower rays clustered into an umbrella shape that are up to 2.5 feet across.

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  • It can grow between 7 and 14 feet tall.

    It can grow between 7 and 14 feet tall.

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  • It has large, incised leaves that can grow up to 5 feet across.

    It has large, incised leaves that can grow up to 5 feet across.

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  • The stems are green with extensive purple splotches and coarse white hairs. They are hollow, ridged and 2-4 inches in diameter.

    The stems are green with extensive purple splotches and coarse white hairs. They are hollow, ridged and 2-4 inches in diameter.

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  • Seeds are dry, flat, and oval. They are approximately 3/8 of an inch long with brown lines.

    Seeds are dry, flat, and oval. They are approximately 3/8 of an inch long with brown lines.

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  • The burns from the sap of a Giant Hogweed appear as painful blisters within 48 hours of contact. Scars can last up to 6 years, although typically don't last more than a month. The sap can cause blindness if it makes contact with the eyes.

    The burns from the sap of a Giant Hogweed appear as painful blisters within 48 hours of contact. Scars can last up to 6 years, although typically don't last more than a month. The sap can cause blindness if it makes contact with the eyes.

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