Utica, NY (WIBX) - If you plan on spending your time outside this summer, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County is urging you to know your poisonous plants.

Among those found locally are giant Hogweed, stinging nettles and the ever-present poison ivy.

Giant Hogweed is known for its huge leaves, big flowers and thick green stem. If touched, it can cause serious skin reactions. If you come across this giant flower, alert the New York State Department of Conservation at 1-845-256-3111 or by email at ghogweed@gw.dec.state.ny.us.


Wild parsnip is usually found along the side of the road and has lime-yellow, umbrella shaped flowers. They are currently in full bloom. Touching them causes blisters and skin discoloration.

Poison ivy is a climbing vine with three leaflets, and contact causes itching and blistering. Its toxins can travel through smoke and may stay active on objects for up to a year.

Other plants on the list include Stinging Nettles and Pigweed. Stinging Nettles have sharp, tiny hairs that inject toxins into the skin, causing pain, swelling and numbness. Pigweed is a non-distinguishable plant among weeds that causes skin blistering.

Questions regarding these plants and others may be directed towards the CCE's Master Gardeners on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon, at 736-3394.

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