News 4 was alerted by a viewer who posted pictures of the plant in question on our website, so we went to the Cazenovia Park Golf Course to check it out.
Giant Hogweed is a massive noxious plant that can, by simple contact, cause burns or even permanent blindness.
The ground crew discovered these big flowery plants in a wooded area near Caz Park’s fourth tee.
Those tall stalks and large flower clusters resemble those of the dreaded giant hogweed, an invasive plant that thrives in wetlands and is more plentiful in Western and Central New York.
The sap of a giant hogweed is so toxic it can cause severe burns, and getting in your eyes can lead to blindness.
New York has a giant hogweed control program and their work crews wear Tyvek suits and goggles for protection.
Giant hogweed can grow to as high as 15 feet tall, with leaves two feet across.
The plants at Caz Park were much smaller, and the staff sent pictures to the state DEC, and they determined the plants are likely a cow parsnip.
Cow parsnip is native to North America, but scientists say you still have to be careful when handling that plant, too.
If you spot plants that you believe could be giant hogweed, the state DEC has set up a Giant Hogweed Hotline at 1-845-256-3111. For more information on how to spot giant hogweed, click the DEC’s information page.