Dangerous Plant Alert! Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

As if New England needs another noxious weed that causes horrible rashes!  Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is currently blooming and according to the USDA is spreading through New England and into Canada.
return from russia artwork about giant hogweed warning via www.pithandvigor.com

With white flat top flowers, it looks a lot like queen annes lace and cow parsley which makes it a little tough to identify.  It was introduced in 1917 and is on the Federal List of Noxious Weeds.

giant hogweed by poisonois plants via www.pithandvigor.com

You might remember last fall how I was lured in by the pretty white berried siren song of poison ivy….well this guy could give those white berries a run for their pretty little money.  It is quite tall (up to 14′) with big white flat heads and large invitingly touchable hairy leaves and stems.


Its watery sap reacts with the sun on the skin and causes blistering.  If it gets in your eyes it will cause permanent blindness.  Vitims report that the burns of hogweed are much, much worse than those caused by poison ivy (anecdotally…10x worse).

If you do come in contact with it — cover the area so that it cannot react with the sun.  Wash with soap and water and call a doctor.  The burn develops over a few days.

Also call the Giant Hogweed Hotline at 845-256-3111 – they will arrange for it to be exterminated.


Top image from Deviant Art. bottom image from the Poison Diaries (a handy instagram account that shares images of poisonous plants).  



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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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