Many of the nation’s agriculture extension services throughout the northeast have raised warnings about an invasive plant called Giant Hogweed. The plant has been found almost everywhere on the east coast from Maine to North Carolina.
It is phototoxic and considered a noxious weed to be avoided at all costs. The sap, leaves, stems, roots, flowers and seeds of the giant hogweed contains furocoumarin derivatives which result in which causes horrible burning rashes, scars and in some cases blindness in humans.
I am unclear about the toxicity to animals. Let’s just say, for safety sake it is a definitive no bueno for the pets.
The New York State of Environmental Conservation has an excellent site which I recommend you study before your next hike along your favorite trails.
If you happen to see this growing on your property take all precautions if your intention is to eradicate it from your property. Do your homework first as you definitely don’t want to burn this stuff or get any of it on you!
I suggest downloading this fact sheet from New York State of Environmental Conservation.
They pack a lot of information on this sheet but be advised that there are some scary graphic leg burns.
Take care for now and – wash your hands!