Watch for and report giant hogweed to DEC

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Giant hogweed information poster

FINGER LAKES – Giant hogweed plants have flowered and set seed across many parts of the state, making it a good time to spot this harmful invasive when you are outdoors. Giant hogweed is a large plant from Eurasia with sap that can cause painful burns and scarring.

Adult giant hogweed plants are very tall and have flower clusters that turn to brown seed heads in August.

Adult giant hogweed plants tend to be 7-14 feet tall with umbrella-shaped clusters of white flowers (in mid-June to mid-July) up to 2.5 feet wide. In early July the white flowerheads turn to green seed heads, which turn brown in August. The stem is green with purple splotches and coarse white hairs, and leaves are large (up to 5 feet across), incised, and deeply lobed. You can find more identification tips, including a table of lookalikes, on our website: https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72766.html

If you think you have found giant hogweed, do not touch it. From a safe distance, take photos of the plant's stem, leaves, flower, seeds, and the whole plant. Then report your sighting to DEC by emailing photos to ghogweed@dec.ny.gov or calling 845-256-3111. DEC staff will help you confirm if it is giant hogweed and work with landowners on how to control it if the landowner is interested.

DEC recently hosted a Facebook Live about giant hogweed identification (https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=311087904041378&ref=watch_permalink). Due to DEC’s past control efforts, giant hogweed has now been removed from 55% (1,476 sites) of known sites. For more information on invasive species to watch out for in your area, visit our #OnesToWatch page.