Summertime is a time for getting outdoors to enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer. Well, almost everything.

According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, one thing found in nature to avoid, is Giant Hogweed.

Giant Hogweed is, well, large. How large you ask? Well, it can reach heights of at least 14 feet with stems between 2 and 4 inches and leaves that can be up to 5 feet wide. Yea, that's pretty large. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation notes that  the Giant Hogweed is a biennial or perennial herb in the carrot family.

It's an invasive plant that can result in burns and even permanent scarring when brushing up against it or breaking the plant, causing sap to release.

That along with sunlight and moisture could result in a severe burn within one to two days according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. And you don't want to be caught with Giant Hogweed in your possession, although I don't know anyone who would.

This invasive plant is illegal to possess with the intent to sell, import, purchase, transport or introduce to propagate says the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Also, the Giant Hogweed is listed as a federally noxious weed.

What should you do if you locate Giant Hogweed? The NYS DEC says this:

Identify: Use the key on the NYS DEC giant hogweed identification page to try and make a positive identification.

Photograph: Take high resolution photos of the entire plant, stem, leaves, flowers and seeds, making sure to keep a safe distance.

Report: Email the NYS DEC or call the Giant Hogweed Information Line: 845-256-3111. Provide photos, detailed directions to the plant infestation and estimate the number of plants.

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