The Department of Environmental Conservation is warning New Yorkers about a giant plant, that could turn into a giant pain...literally.

What's a Giant Hogweed Plant?

DEC, Instagram
DEC, Instagram

Have you ever heard of Giant Hogweed Plants? If you haven't let's get to know this invasive plant a little better. The DEC explains that Giant Hogweed can grow up to 14 feet tall, hence the "giant" part of its name.

Everything about the Giant Hogweed plant is big. A Giant Hogweed plant is equipped with a hollow stem 2-4 inches in diameter that has "dark reddish-purple blotches" and its leaves can grow up to 5 feet wide! Sounds like something out of Little Shop of Horrors if you ask me. The white flower heads on the Giant Hogweed Plant can grow up to 2 1/2 feet in diameter.

DEC, Instagram
DEC, Instagram

New York Giant Hogweed Plant Can Burn Skin

The rather large plant can also "cause painful burns and permanent scarring" to humans, which is exactly why we want to help spread the word. On Instagram, the DEC writes:

Simply brushing up against it or breaking the plant can release sap whose exposure to sunlight results in a nasty burn and the possibility of permanent scarring.

What should you do if you accidentally brush up against the giant invasive plant? Wash it thoughtfully with soap and water and make sure you avoid the sun for 48 hours. With that being said, you're probably wondering where can you find (aka AVOID) Giant Hogweed plants. We hate to break it to you, but these plants are anywhere. The DEC states "It grows along streams and rivers and in fields, forests, yards, and roadsides. It prefers open sites with abundant light and moist soil."

If you happen to come across a Giant Hogweed plant the DEC is asking you call the Giant Hogweed Information Line at 845-256-3111 or send them an email at

Take a look at more invasive plant species across New York State below!

New York State's Invasive Plants To Be On The Lookout For

These seven invasive plants have become a nuisance to the wildlife and people living in New York State. Learn more about them and how to remove them at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation here.

New York Man Trapped on Top of Car in Hudson Valley Stream

SUV stuck in a flooded stream in Dutchess County.

The 10 Most Invasive Animals & Insects in New York State

There's nothing worse than an unwanted guest.

More From Hudson Valley Post