Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Beware the Giant Hogweed – Really!

While I’ve been lucky enough to avoid even accidental contact with Giant Hogweed, I walk in many places where it grows, and is often ‘giant’, with the flowering heads often being well above my head, with those growing in damp riverbanks easily managing 4 or even 5 metres.

It really is a nasty plant to encounter, and its toxic sap can be dangerous:

Giant hogweed ‘UK’s most dangerous plant’, say rivers trust

It’s not only to be found near rivers, but is so prolific it now grows happily on any nearby ‘wild’ land.

I found this example by the roadside of a bridge over the River Clyde, and saw for the first time how the head actually breaks out of protective bag where the flowers reach maturity before being exposed.

This must be a fairly rapid process, as I haven’t come across either similar bags or sacks, or a freshly flowering example such as this before – just those that have flowered.

But the important point is the presence of these giants by the roadside, where those unaware of the danger could cut them, and be exposed to the toxic sap.

Giant Hogweed Bud

Giant Hogweed Bud

Now that I’ve seen this one, I note that the ‘dead’ sack can generally be seen withering below the flowering head.

And these few inches are as close as I want to be.

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June 4, 2017 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , ,

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