Friday, September 4, 2009

Giant Hogweed Found Near Manistee

Giant Hogweed
Giant Hogweed (photo from the King County, Washington, web site)
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from a news article on 9&10 News, and other sources

Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum, is similar to the very large Cow Parsnip, but is even larger. A stand of about 200 plants has been found near Manistee, Michigan, on private property.

The Department of Agriculture is working hard to destroy the plants to prevent their spread. What is the huge concern?

Giant Hogweed's sap has been described as "Poison Ivy On Steroids." The sap of the plant causes severe skin burns. It can grow to 15 feet, with leaves spanning 2-5 feet. The thick stem has mottled purple areas. The stem, leaf and flower stalks are hairy. It has small white flowers in big clusters, looking like huge Queen Anne's Lace.

The plant has a strong foothold in New York, but this is the first known spotting of Giant Hogweed in northern Michigan.

See Avoid Giant Hogweed - Severe Skin Reactions
These links are checked on the date of the article. As the article ages, some links may become invalid

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thepoisongarden said...

A big difference with Heracleum mantegazzianum is that the sap doesn't actually cause the burns - it removes the UV protection from the skin. This means burns can occur again and again.

I know people who've burned two or three years after the orignal exposure because the skin still hasn't recovered.

It's a really unpleasant plant and people need to be able to recognise and know to stay well away.

Sharkbytes said...

Thanks for the extra information. That is good to know.

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