30th June 2016

Avoid this Alien

Giant hogweed is an invasive plant that can have nasty consequences for those that come into contact with it. It can reach over 3m (10ft) in height and can be recognized by clusters of white flowers and a stout, bright green stem and leaves.

This giant plant is dangerous to humans as its sap is phototoxic. When the contacted skin is exposed to sunlight, it causes severe skin inflammations.   This is a type of burn which will blister and can cause scars that can last several years.  Small amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness. Simply brushing against or touching giant hogweed is enough to release the sap. It is often found on riverbanks.

The most effective way to treat Giant Hogweed is spraying with weed killer, however great care must be taken to avoid contact with the plant.  This treatment may need to be repeated yearly.

So avoid this plant and keep children away from it.


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