Dangerous Plant – Giant Hogweed by the Don: June 2021

I spent an hour between rain showers exploring an area near the swollen Don River.

MYSTERY PLANT

I will identify it at the end of the post.

At one point I noticed a very tall, Cow-parsnip-like plant on the other side of the river.

Giant Hogweed in the distance

Thinking that it might be Giant Hogweed, I walked over the bridge and had a look. Giant Hogweed for sure!

(notes from Michigan Flora – Voss & Reznicek)

This huge species is endemic to the Caucasus Mountains and is occasionally cultivated as a curiosity, becoming escaped locally into fields, vacant lots, and disturbed forest edges.

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Heracleum mantegazzianum is gigantic, ranging to 4 or 5 m in height, with umbels as broad as 5 dm. This species is dangerous; the stiff, pustulate-based stem bristles are irritating, but the sap is more so, causing serious blistering and burning and even permanent scarring or brown staining of the skin of sensitive persons.

Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

Someone has put a warning sign here:

Some botany:

Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium)
Field Chickweed (Cerastium arvense)
Common Sow-thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
Indian Mustard (Brassica juncea)
White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
Field Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)
Cabbage Butterfly on Alfalfa
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Rough Cinquefoil (Potentilla norvegica)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
White Campion (Silene latifolia)
Viper’s Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Gray Dogwood (Cornus foemina)
False Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)
Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia)
Red-osier (Cornus sericea)
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)
Purple-flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
Hedge Bindweed
gaillardia pulchella
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Nipplewort (Lapsana communis)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)
Ninebark ((Physocarpus opulifolius)
Starry False Solomon-seal (Maianthemum stellatum)

MYSTERY PLANT

The heavily lobed, shiny green leaves indicate a young White Mulberry tree.

White Mulberry (Morus alba)

NATURE POETRY

Ten o’clock: the broken moon
Hangs not yet a half hour high,
Yellow as a shield of brass,
In the dewy air of June,
Poised between the vaulted sky
And the ocean’s liquid glass.                          – Emma Lazarus (1849–87) 

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Dangerous Plant – Giant Hogweed by the Don: June 2021

  1. Lisa Volkov

    What a magnificent menace that Giant Hogweed is! That sign has the right attitude: “Look, marvel, but DON’T TOUCH!” And yes, the Gerbera Daisy is also the Gaylardia, the name by which I know it–I looked it up. Gorgeous! Thanks, Miles!

    Reply
  2. rosemarie fischer

    the giant hogweed is beautiful…..poisonous plants and critters often are…..why is that????
    thanks Miles…..

    Reply

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