Saturday, July 9, 2011


"Giant Hogweed is a phototoxic plant. Its sap can cause phytophotodermatitis (severe skin inflammations) when the skin is exposed to sunlight or to UV-rays. Initially the skin colours red and starts itching. Then blisters form as it burns within 48 hours. They form black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalisation may be necessary. Presence of minute amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness. These reactions are caused by the presence of linear derivatives of furocoumarin in its leaves, roots, stems, flowers and seeds. These chemicals can get into the nucleus of the epithelial cells, forming a bond with the DNA, causing the cells to die. The brown colour is caused by the production of melanin by furocoumarins. In Germany, where this plant has become a real nuisance, there were about 16,000 victims in 2003.

Children should be kept away from Giant Hogweed. Protective clothing, including eye protection, should be worn when handling or digging it. If skin is exposed, the affected area should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and the exposed skin protected from the sun for several days." --wikipedia

A news clip on giant hogweed in southern B.C.


Belfry Bat said...

Thank goodness they aren't shambling around on three polytrophic aerial roots...

Enbrethiliel said...


You know what would be both sad and hilarious? Bushes heavily laden with red huckleberries (or thimbleberries) but ringed thickly round with hogweed. (Okay, they probably wouldn't grow together like that in real life, but they grow side by side in your posts.)

Paul Stilwell said...

Bat, LOL and amen to that. It would be like making war on the aliens from "Aliens", spraying their acid everywhere...anyhow, polytrophic, now there's word.

Enbrethiliel, Oh those hogweeds would be coming down one way or another. My first thought is flamethrower. But that would probably kill the ones in the center as well.