Thursday, August 04, 2011

Beware!!! Giant Hogweed

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New England news channels have recently reported on populations of Giant Hogweed in New Hampshire and New York. Vermont news has downplayed the presence of this invasive plant and state officials have asked for help tracking populations. It is interesting to me that this colony which I have pictured is growing on Route 2 in Marshfield, Vermont about 6 feet from the road which is traveled almost every day by the very people asking for help. The plant height is such that during bloom time it was very difficult to miss the giant white seed heads and thick stalks.

The leaves of the plant are giants too and their shape is a clear signal to the plant. Immature plants are still very large and the colony in this case should be of serious concern with it's size.

This next picture shows how the plant has spread down a bank and onto a private plateau perhaps 60 feet from a private home.

The plants produce prodigous amounts of seeds and plants in close proximity to brooks and streams use water flow as a natural form of dispersal. This colony is close to a tributary of the Winooski River.

The Internet has plenty of information of the toxicity of the plant which can cause extreme dermatological disturbances that are subcutaneous and require medical attention. Care should be taken to avoid this plant and colonies or single plants should be reported to agricultural entities dealing with invasive species. Special care should be taken with unsuspecting youth and gardeners who think they have found an interesting plant. The size certainly seems almost Jurassic in nature but the health risks involved with touching it without protection are bigger. Beware!! Learn about this plant and take appropriate action!

Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the night is already dark, and sleep after a difficult day sounds very good.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Facebook as Vermont Flower Farm and Gardens and also as George Africa
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Andrée said...

The state of Vermont will no longer eradicate hogweed. I asked and that's what they said. They say it isn't a big enough problem anymore. I translated that to mean that there is no money in the budget. God forbid a child messes with it. Then, I think, the state may have to find money for a lawsuit.

Rizika Marne said...

Before my friends and I travel to Vermont this weekend to go hiking, we wanted to check on Vermont's policy for Hogweed. I guess there is none. New York has made known to its residents the dangers of Hogweed and luckily we know what to look for.