Sunday, June 17, 2007


I always sort-of liked this plant, before I found out what it was, (today in the EA office as a matter of fact).

This is the despicable (yet undoubtedly impressive) Giant Hogweed, (it resembles a HUGE Cow Parsley plant), which has invaded our shores, appearing first in the middle of the 19th century I think.

It grows 15' tall, and outcompetes everything - including our own native Hogweed.

It is illegal to grow it, or "encourage" its growth, and it can be a very big health hazard.

Its thick stems are covered in spines, like nettles, which contain a very powerful irritant sap (it makes one's skin react with huge pussy blisters on exposure to UV or sunlight).

It cannot be chopped down (due to 'flying sap') so has to be treated chemically - and that takes YEARS.

I always thought it looked like a really fantastic "jurassic plant".

Now I know...

1 comment:

electrichalibut said...

"Huge pussy blisters". Yowch. Oh, you mean pussy as in pus. I see.

I do remember an article on John Craven's Newsround when I was about 10 warning kids not to make peashooters out of lengths of Giant Hogweed stem (which would be ideal for the purpose, if it wasn't for the whole being poisonous thing).