Windywillow

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Attack of the Giant Hogweed

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Ellis Hollow has posted a link to show the differences between several similar looking plants. Thank you for that link! It's NOT giant hogweed after all, what a relief. It seems to be a cow parsnip, in my wildlife book it's called hogweed. Just plain hogweed. It's a smaller plant and has different leaf structure. I was imagining going out there in goggles and a radiation suit to get rid of the plant! As it's only a harmless hogweed, I will leave it, cutting off the flowers before they turn to seed. I'll leave this post as it was though, a reminder of a horrible nightmare that never came to be.
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I found out a few facts about this giant hogweed I have growing in my front garden.

On YouTube, I saw this: Giant Cow Parsley
One of the comments there is this:
"Giant Hogweed stings. If you grab the stem, it vibrates in your hand and then it fires off a terrible sting. Also they can grow just about anywhere and are the only plant with intelligence. Some even have emotions."

In my younger days, I used to listen to Genesis (when they still had Peter and Steve, they lost it after those two left). Genesis had a great song about this weed. Here are the lyrics:

*Genesis* › "The Return Of The Giant Hogweed"

Turn and run!
Nothing can stop them,

Around every river and canal their power is growing.

Stamp them out!

We must destroy them,

They infiltrate each city with their thick dark warning odour.
They are invincible,
They seem immune to all our herbicidal battering.


Long ago in the russian hills,
A victorian explorer found the regal hogweed by a marsh,

He captured it and brought it home.

Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.

Royal beast did not forget.

He came home to london,

And made a present of the hogweed to the royal gardens at Kew.

Waste no time!
They are approaching.

Hurry now, we must protect ourselves and find some shelter

Strike by night!

They are defenceless.

They all need the sun to photosensitize their venom.
Still theyre invincible,
Still theyre immune to all our herbicidal battering.

Fashionable country gentlemen had some cultivated wild gardens,

In which they innocently planted the giant hogweed throughout the
land.
Botanical creature stirs, seeking revenge.

Royal beast did not forget.

Soon they escaped, spreading their seed,

Preparing for an onslaught, threatening the human race.


The dance of the giant hogweed


Mighty hogweed is avenged.

Human bodies soon will know our anger.

Kill them with your hogweed hairs

Heracleum mantegazziani


Giant hogweed lives...

In Wikipedia, I read this:
"n the UK the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1982 makes it an offence to plant or cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild."

It also says it is a photo-toxic plant, which
that after touching the plant, ones skin will burn and blister when exposed to sunlight. And the scars can remain several years. The sap can cause temporary or permanent blindness.

What kind of monster is this plant?? EEEK!!

13 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

Yikes! I think my parents have that growing in their garden at the lake. There are seedlings everywhere. It is taking over the world!!

I loved the pictures and I especially loved the reminder of Genesis ... from way back when!!

Enjoy your weekend!

June 16, 2007 5:01 pm  
Blogger Digital Flower Pictures said...

I was just speaking of Giant Hogweed with someone and the permanent damage it can cause to the skin. I don't think I have ever seen it growing around here, luckily.

June 17, 2007 2:43 pm  
Anonymous Sara said...

I didn't know this about the giant hogweed - that's a little scary!
Sara from farmingfriends

June 17, 2007 11:20 pm  
Anonymous Ellis Hollow said...

We have a few patches of hogweed in Upstate New York -- probably garden escapes. But there are some other plants that look similar to it. There are pictures of them to help tell them apart here: http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/allegany_cattaraugus/hort/PestAlert.htm

June 18, 2007 12:34 am  
Blogger Salix Tree said...

Ellis, thank you for that link! It's NOT giant hogweed after all, what a relief. It seems to be a cow parsnip, in my wildlife book it's called hogweed. Just plain hogweed. It's a smaller plant and has different leaf structure.

June 18, 2007 6:25 am  
Blogger Rebsie Fairholm said...

Ah, I'm in complete agreement with you about Genesis ... I love the Peter Gabriel era but it doesn't quite work for me from the late 70s onward. (My husband disagrees, but there you go!)

Changing the subject somewhat, I wanted to tell you about something strange that happened to me this week. Remember I blamed the faeries for taking the gold threads off my hand-pollinated peas last year, but said I was expecting them to show up again because faeries don't steal things, they just take them away and then put them back in odd places?

Well, I was just striding across a patch of bare earth I'd recently prepared for pea planting and saw something sparkling on the ground. I'd already just walked over that spot half a dozen times and there was nothing there before ... but when I bent down to have a look it was one of my gold threads. It was in perfect condition and still had the knot tied in it.

It's really quite spooky because there's no way it had been left out all winter ... it was perfectly clean and looked like it had just been dropped there. I'm also not sure how it had been removed from the pea plant without untying the knot. Anyway, there's not many people I'd want to tell about it but I thought you might be one of the few who understand.

June 24, 2007 1:16 pm  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Hi Silvia,

One of the books on my shelf is a paperback from the eighties, written by Charlotte Macleod. It was one in her Peter Shandy series of mysteries, and the name is "The Curse of the Giant Hogweed". The book is full of all kind of faerie stuff, and you might well be glad yours is only plain old hogweed rather than the *Giant* kind ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

June 25, 2007 9:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

waste no time we must destrory them they all need the sun to photosensitze their venom!

July 09, 2007 5:59 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm doing my final year thesis on the Giant Hogweed and its in pure abundance in the West of Ireland. The pictures displayed are not actually the Giant hogweed, thay are cow parsley, which often are mistaken for the giant hogweed.

November 12, 2007 9:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it is true that touching the plant can cause blistering and burns, but usually, you must come in contact with the sap for that to happen.

November 10, 2008 12:42 am  
Anonymous replica louis vuitton bags said...

I need some pictures of them to help tell them apart!

November 17, 2011 4:28 pm  
Anonymous replica lv bags said...

I don't think I have ever seen it growing around here, luckily.

November 17, 2011 4:29 pm  
Anonymous Judi Bola said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

April 10, 2014 11:26 am  

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