PSA – PLEASE READ AND SPREAD HE WORD!!!
IF YOU SEE THIS PLANT AT ALL, DO NOT TOUCH IT!!!
Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is an invasive herb in the carrot family which was originally brought to North America from Asia and has since become established in the New England, Mid-Atlantic, and Northwest regions of the United States. Giant hogweed grows along streams and rivers and in fields, forests, yards and roadsides, and a giant hogweed plant can reach 14 feet or more in height with compound leaves up to 5 feet in width.Giant Hogweed sap contains toxic chemicals known as Furanocoumarins. When these chemicals come into contact with the skin and are exposed to sunlight, they cause a condition called Phytophotodermatitis, a reddening of the skin often followed by severe blistering and burns. These injuries can last for several months, and even after they have subsided the affected areas of skin can remain sensitive to light for years. Furanocoumarins are also carcinogenic and teratogenic, meaning they can cause cancer and birth defects. The sap can also cause temporary (or even permanent) blindness if introduced into the eyes.
If someone comes into physical contact with Giant Hogweed, the following steps should be taken:
- Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and COLD water as soon as possible.
- Keep the exposed area away from sunlight for 48 hours.
- If Hogweed sap gets into the eyes, rinse them with water and wear sunglasses.
- See a doctor if any sign of reaction sets in.
If a reaction occurs, the early application of topical steroids may lessen the severity of the reaction and ease the discomfort. The affected area of skin may remain sensitive to sunlight for a few years, so applying sun block and keeping the affected area shielded from the sun whenever possible are sensible precautions
PLEASE, DO NOT JUST READ AND SCROLL! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT AND POTENTIALLY LIFE-SAVING INFORMATION!!!
Extra note: if you live in Oregon, New Jersey, Michigan or New York and see one of these, call your state’s department of agriculture to report it, and trained professionals will come kill it before it can produce seeds and spread.
Frankly, if you see one in general, probably call your DOA and see if there’s a program in place.
Do not burn it, because the smoke will give you the same reaction.
If for some ungodly reason there isn’t a professional who can handle it for you (and please, please use a professional), the DOA of New York has [this guide] for how to deal with it yourself.
OH MY FUCK I HAVE THESE IN MY BACKYARD.
Fucking invasives. Signal boost.
Re-reblogging because I checked Snopes, and not only is this shit true, but the text on this is pretty much the same as it is there! Stay safe, kiddos.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, these are currently the states and provinces in North America where Giant Hogweed is present. Even if your state/province is “clear” that doesn’t mean that it is not there. If you see Giant Hogweed in your yard or anywhere please call your DOA! This stuff is mad deadly!
Also here is a human for size reference. Since they are huge it should be easy enough to see and spot when fully grown.
The burns can also be very bad, far worse than any poison ivy. Just Google ‘Giant Hogweed Burns’ and you’ll see. It can cause bad blistering, red painful rashes, and more. Please be careful of this plant!
They exist in Austria and Germany too. Please be careful!
Also, if you are in the Iowa/Minnesota area (maybe farther, I don’t exactly know), there is a close relative (also invasive) with yellow flowers called wild parsnip.
It only gets to about half the size of giant hogweed but has all the same toxic effects. The plants in the pictures look small but I’ve seen ones at least 6 feet tall with stems two inches thick.
A lot of pictures available of giant hogweed are fullsized and in bloom. Just because it lacks the flowers doesn’t mean it’s not hogweed! It is dangerous well before that point.
As seen above, another important detail when identifying them can be the stems. They often have this reddish speckling, and are covered in bristly hairs. Like the rest of the plant, you should absolutely not touch them either.
You can see here how the redness is mostly on larger, older portions of the stems.
For those of you in Ontario, here is a link to some more information via Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program . It has details on the plant’s growth, removal methods, and groups you can report sightings to.
Unfortunately I lack information on herbicide use, but if the responsibility of removing giant hogweed somehow falls to the owner, please research local laws/restrictions concerning the use of things such as glyphosate (roundup). It is always possible to make things worse instead of better, so exercise caution in all areas, not just the handling/disposal of the plant.
This is not bullshit. My sister works for the Cooperative Extension in New York and this is a big P.R. focus for them. They have trouble because somebody may spot some of these on a neighbor’s property and call it in, but they can’t get permission to go in and take it out because the neighbors think it’s “pretty” or they “natural” and want it to stay.
Here’s another thing about it that makes it dangerous and maybe might scare some people into doing something about it: this time of year, (winter) the dried stuff is tailor-made for attracting kids: long, light, jointed. It looks like bamboo and they will use it to frame up little huts, make beaded necklaces, use as “sword.”, etc. The worst is it’s hollow which makes it perfect for BLOW GUNS. Imagine getting that stuff on your lips….
I work at an environmental science college and can also confirm this. This stuff is bad bad bad news.
To all you aspiring herbalists and just nature adventurers: please, pelase be careful
I’ve brushed up against this stuff and it fucked me up for about two months. And the scars lasted for a year and a half after that
What the FUCK!?? THESE ARE IN MY FYCKKKIGN YAAARD?!?!?! OUT BACK ?!
Tis the season for giant hogweed warnings, my friends.
Everybody please remember not to go out whacking around in the bush unless you know how to identify your local toxic plants. And please, for the love of it, wear pants! Hogweed will fuck you up, please report if you see it, but wild parsnip, poison ivy and poison oak are no fun game either.
This little quiz can show you, even poison ivy can be tricky to ID. Stay safe!
For once, I am actually happy I live in a dead desert…
Reblogging since Pokemon Go is out for many of you, and if you choose to go exploring, be aware!!
Just as a heads up, while not green on the map, this has moved into Ohio. So my babies back home, be safe and be careful.
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