Giant Hogweed, footpath, A40

Heracleum mantegazzianum is a native of the Caucasus Mountains but was introduced to the UK by plant collectors during the 19th century. Its impressive size (it can reach 23m) and striking appearance meant that it found a home in gardens throughout Europe, the USA and Canada. Each plant is capable of producing up to 100,000 seeds that can remain viable for years and it is now regarded as an invasive species. It has phototoxic sap which can cause blistering and scarring when affected skin is exposed to sunlight, or blindness if it gets into eyes. Consequently it is against the law in the UK and some other countries to deliberately cultivate it and the authorities try to eradicate it wherever possible. This clump has now been reported to Ealing Council.

Images and text ©Albertina McNeill 2012. Please do not reproduce without permission. All rights reserved. Do not add any of these images to Pinterest or similar sites as this will be regarded as a violation of copyright.

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This entry was published on April 4, 2012 at 10:37 pm. It’s filed under Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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