Featured / General Gardening / June 23, 2021

Giant Hogweed: The Poisonous Perils

Nuzzled beside other poisonous plants and toxic shrubs, The Giant Hogweed takes up a prized position in our Poison Garden as one of the most commonly found, yet highly dangerous weeds. Although we are only able to maintain one Hogweed plant, somehow three had taken root within our Garden which required urgent maintenance. Fully suited and booted, we sent in our trusty Senior Gardeners to tackle the recent infestation all whilst ensuring their safety.

Giant Hogweed or Heracleum Mantegazzianum is an expansive, hazardous plant that can cause serious damage, particularly to those who are unaware of its unpleasant properties.

Harbouring harsh chemicals within its sap, Hogweed can be responsible for some gruesome injuries if it comes into close contact with skin. Initiating photodermatitis, the chemicals can leave skin incredibly sensitive to sunlight, resulting in severe burns, blistering and intense scarring.

With a spectacular ability to spread everywhere it shouldn’t be, Giant Hogweed can grow within the most surprising of conditions and rather quickly due to the wind dispersing its seeds. There is no confirmed rules or regulations regarding the elimination of Hogweed within public spaces, although most farmers and gardeners strive for their land to be free of its risks.

You may notice that there are a generous number of warnings around this time of year about Hogweed’s potential danger, particularly concerning children and their general awareness of the plant. Here are some of the ways to keep safe and avoid getting caught in a blistering blur.

Know your plant:

Hogweed bares a strong resemblance to Cow Parsley and takes up a vast amount of room when grown to full size. Having a thick, strong stem and a flowering head, Giant Hogweed can be further identified by the striking purple sap that can be seen staining the root.

Do not touch:

If spotted, avoid close contact at all costs and if you should accidentally brush by it, wash the affected area quickly and thoroughly.

What if I see it in my garden?

There is no rule to eliminate Hogweed from your garden or allotment but many like to be ridded of the precarious plant. If you decide to tackle from the root, make sure to wear gloves and plenty of exterior protection.

Our Senior Gardeners were fully protected and were still incredibly careful whilst handling the remaining of the Hogweed. To learn more about poisonous plants and where to find them, head beyond The Poison Garden gates if you dare…

Our Gardeners were were safe and in good hands at all times, to learn more about the weird and wonderful tasks they often undertake click here