Dangerous Plant – Giant Hogweed by the Don: June 2021
I spent an hour between rain showers exploring an area near the swollen Don River.
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.
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.
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.
Someone has put a warning sign here:
The heavily lobed, shiny green leaves indicate a young White Mulberry tree.
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)