Eye-Burning Plants the Latest Threat to New Yorkers

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Photo: Bill Patton/Getty Images

A sudden outbreak of hogweeds — the "notorious plant" with sap that can cause burns, blisters, and blindness — has prompted the State Department of Environmental Conservation to issue a summer-long warning to New Yorkers, as the plant spreads around the state. "See your physician if you think you have been burned by giant hogweed," the department advises. "If you think you have giant hogweed on your property, do NOT touch it." (Emphasis theirs.) New York State has set up a giant hogweed hotline, 845-256-3111, for those in need. Since the plant grows to twelve feet tall and burns your eyes and skin, you'll probably know if you should call. [NYDN, NYP]