Posted tagged ‘Giant Hogweed’

The danger that lurks in plants

July 15, 2015

Plants and flowers are not one of my areas of expertise. And while I can understand that some trees are big and some are not so big, I wouldn’t be able to name them. I don’t know my oak from my cedar. Therefore it was frightening to learn that the deadly Heracleum mantegazzianum is growing wild and plentiful in my neck of the woods.

All along I thought Genesis were having a laugh. The rock group, that is, not the first book of the bible. Way back during the band’s prog rock period on the LP Nursery Cryme was a track called, The return of the Giant Hogweed. It told the story of an imported plant that began to kill all mankind. Nothing could stop it. As science fiction tales go this was quality feverish imagination. Imagine my horror when I found out the story is true. Hogweed is real!

Giant Hogweed is a dangerous plant that causes third degree burns and is growing wild along the banks of the Clyde. Environmental managers say that pesticides can curtail its advance but this has to be done regularly. The invasive plant has also been spotted across many of the city’s public parks. This is a worry, I wouldn’t know Giant Hogweed from a foxglove. Next time I’m out jogging I might run into one of these man-eating carnivores. I will have to keep my wits and my spider-sense fully tuned up just in case there’s a showdown. The only thing I know is that they have a white flower head.

It really is an apocalyptic ordeal to go outdoors. There’s mushrooms and toadstools that need to be avoided.  Berries do look enticing but they might carry a kick in the interior stomach afterward. The last deadly lampshade I encountered gave me a beump (© Inspector Clouseau) on the head; it fell out a window. Now I have to stay clear of white flowers. It’ll be white rabbits next. The only thing missing from this nightmare is zombies. Although, in some of the rougher parts of the woods a few fellows do resemble the walking dead.