A not so lovely blooming Monday.

1 Giant HOgweed

A not so lovely blooming Monday.


This astonishing plant stole my weekend. I discovered it in my garden and have spent most of the last two days getting rid of it. You might wonder why I would want to destroy it. This plant is sculptural in its beauty, almost architectural in its form, and surely a stunning addition to any garden.

Yes, it has a certain beauty about it and the prolific flowers offer pollen to all kinds of insects. Yet, I was compelled to do everything I could to try to take it out of the garden. The reason is, this is Heracleum Mantegazzianum, commonly known as Giant Hogweed.

The plant is highly toxic to humans and contact with it can cause horrific blistering and burns. In some cases the skin damage can be so bad people require hospital treatment. The results of burns from this plant can be long lasting photosensitivity to sunlight which can go on for years.  If any sap gets in the eyes it can cause temporary blindness, if the damage is bad, possibly permanent blindness. It is illegal to deliberately grow this in the UK. However, this plant does grow in the wild. It is usually eradicated when discovered because it is so dangerous to people who don’t recognise it.

I believe that the plant in my garden self set there. I certainly didn’t plant it. When I realised what it was, the plant stood at about three foot tall. Giant Hogweed can grow up to about fourteen foot. I believe all the growth has taken place this spring. To deal with this toxic plant I had to use my longest cutters so I could take it down section by section. I also had to wear gloves and I used an old welding mask I have in the garage to make sure the sap didn’t get in my eyes. I had to work quite slowly on this job because of how dangerous this plant can be. Most of it is down now but I have to deal with the root and make sure it hasn’t reproduced and set any young plants in the garden.

I hope the next lot of gardening I do will be more fun, less time consuming, and a whole lot safer than this weekend’s work. Do enjoy your garden if you have one, and I hope you don’t ever have to deal with something quite as difficult as Giant Hogweed.


Thanks for reading.

Daisy Banks

8 thoughts on “A not so lovely blooming Monday.

  1. Only external beauty! Its important for all of us to know about poisonous plant varieties for obvious reasons. The Giant Hogweed seems to be a fast growing species but I am so glad you have been able to control it. Dieffenbachia is a popular indoor plant here but I am told that it is poisonous too. I think nurseries should sell plants with a cautionary note!!

    • Thanks for commenting, Archana. I agree people ought to educate themseleves about poisonous plants, for the sake of their children and pet’s safety in the home and garden. Giant Hogweed does
      grow incredibly quickly. I don’t know if I have killed the root yet and am looking for any sign of new ones coming up. I looked up the plant you mention and it does have some nasty qualities if the leaves are chewed but it’s also being investigated as a treatment for cancer which is a plus. I don’t know of any plus side for Giant Hogweed.

  2. Oh my ever loving goodness! I have never heard of giant hogweed. It sounds dreadful. We need to get rid of the goblin that put it there. You did well, though, recognizing it and eradicating it. That goblin must have also hobbled on off. It makes me wonder if there is any use for such a caustic plant.

    • Thanks for commenting, Flossie. This really is a nasty plant. I don’t know of any uses for it. I’ll research it a bit more and see what I find. As to that goblin-he’s had a
      busy time in my garden. I have huge crop of dandelions this year. The seeds get blown in from the stream bank and set in the garden. It’s almost impossible to see them until they sprout.

  3. So, today you were on the battlefield, fighting with the evil dragon plant . Hopefully you won the “war.”I had no idea there was such a dangerous weed.

    You know, this plant is in the same family with anotherone that was used in old times to prepare “bors” in eastern Europe – Heracleum sphondylium. ( Bors is a sour liquid that gives a delicious first dish. Nowadays it’s prepared from corn flour and wheat bran- not sure about the translation). I gave you the Latin name so that you could see it on internet.

    • Thank you, Carmen, it was a bit of a fight. 🙂 The thing is almost gone, all but for the roots. I wouldn’t recommend anyone use this plant for anything. It may be linked to
      food plants but it in itself is not one you need in a garden and especially not where children run around. Bors sounds interesting. I like sour flavours but
      I wouldn’t be making anything from this plant.

  4. Oh, that sounds like an awful plant, Daisy. I’m so glad you discovered it and removed it from your garden before it could cause any mishaps. You certainly took the necessary precautions while removing it. Now your garden will surely thrive!

    • Thanks for commenting, Mae. I couldn’t believe the thing had grown without me noticing. I dread to think what it might have done to the
      great-grand-children who visit from time to time.

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