Saturday, 27 July 2013

More information on the Giant Hogweed (if seen stay away from it)

I have heard, that in a local newspaper, that this plant has been spotted in St Catharines, but can't find on, so can't confirm it has been spotted.  If I find the article will post. 
 But did find this from the City of St Catharines, The Garden City, site:


Posted on Friday May 03, 2013

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to every person in possession of land within the City of St. Catharines. In accordance with the Weed Control Act, Ontario, unless noxious weeds or weed seeds are destroyed the City may enter upon said lands to cause the noxious weeds or weed seeds to be destroyed. All costs incurred by the City, plus an administration fee, as determined in accordance with the 2013 Schedule of Rate and Fees, will be charged against the land and may be collected in a like manner as taxes.
In the interest of public health, noxious weeds requiring eradication, as they appear include Common Barberry, European Buckthorn, Bull Thistle, Canada Thistle, Wild Carrot, Colt’s Foot, Dodder, Goat’s Beard, Johnson Grass, Knapweed, Milkweed, Nodding Thistle, Poison Hemlock, Poison Ivy, Proso Millet, Ragweed, Yellow Rocket, Russian Thistle, Scotch Thistle, Sow Thistle, Cypress Spurge, Leafy Spurge, Tuberous Vetchling and Giant Hogweed.
Note: By-law No. 2011-203 defines abandoned orchards as a noxious weed. 

Here is also some more information on the plant.
From the Canadian Gardening site:

Caution! This poisonous plant could make an appearance in a garden near you
Giant hogweed has been surreptitiously invading Canada since the late 1940s. But in recent years, this dangerous plant’s secret identity has been blown as it has encroached on public parks and gardens. Lately, with more sightings heralding the troubling realization that Giant Hogweed is spreading, it has become a minor news celebrity with warnings to the public to stay away from this poisonous plant.

Municipalities across Canada are paying close attention to the situation. “Ministry staff is aware of the significance of Giant Hogweed from a human health and invasiveness perspective,” explains Mike Cowbrough, weed management field crops program lead with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). “OMAFRA is working with the University of Guelph and several municipalities across Ontario to identify best management practices for Giant Hogweed.” Other municipalities, like the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia, have set up hotlines to report weed locations.

What is it?
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a member of the carrot and parsley family and is often mistaken for cow parsnip. Its flowers also closely resemble those of prolific wildflowerQueen Anne’s Lace. As its name indicates, Giant Hogweed grows to impressive heights and can reach 15 to 20 feet. A perennial with tuberous roots, the dark reddish-purple stalks and stems of the plant are hollow and quite thick (two to four inches in diameter). Hogweed has large, flat-topped clusters of leaves with white flowers and large, flat fruit. Leaf blades of rosette leaves are very large and deeply incised–the compound leaves can span up to five feet! 

Where did it come from?
Hogweed is an extremely invasive species originally from Asia and Eastern Europe. It’s still unclear how the plant found its way into Canada or how long it’s been here. Some believe it was introduced to gardens as an ornamental plant, or the seeds could have been brought by migratory birds or cargo ships. Today, it can be found along roadsides, riverbanks, naturalized areas, and yes, even your own backyard. 

Why is it such a problem?
Giant hogweed can pose a serious health hazard for humans. The plant’s watery, clear sap contains photosensitizing compounds called furanocoumarins. When the sap comes into contact with human skin and is then exposed to sunlight, the UV radiation can cause severe burning and weeping blisters. The reaction of the skin depends on the sensitivity of the individual, as well as the amount of sap he or she has been exposed to. After 24 hours, swelling and reddening of the skin will be noticeable. Within two to three days the swelling will develop into painful blisters. Symptoms can last for several months and the skin may remain sensitive to UV light for years after exposure. It can also cause extensive scarring.
What if I come across Giant Hogweed?
Anyone who sees a giant hogweed plant is advised to contact a landscape professional to have it removed. Cowbrough recommends having a professional properly identify the suspected plant to ensure it is Giant Hogweed. “Over half of the submissions that OMAFRA receives are from clients claiming they have Giant Hogweed, but it’s not hogweed,” says Cowbrough. Proper identification can be obtained by submitting a photo to Weed Info: Canada’s Online Weed Information and Identification Resource.

If you find it in your garden and choose to remove it yourself, make sure you wear synthetic, waterproof clothing, including long sleeves and pants, as well as gardening gloves and eye protection. Remove the flower heads to prevent seed growth and dispersal and then cut the plant’s root eight to 10 cm below the soil surface. Don’t compost the plant. Instead, put the plant’s remains in double-bagged garbage bags. Once everything has been cleaned up, periodically check the site to make sure there aren’t any hogweed seedlings trying to reclaim the spot. Continue to monitor the area during the next few growing seasons. Hogweed can easily reseed itself and seeds may be lying dormant in the soil, waiting for an opportunity to invade your garden again.

“Landowners can also purchase glyphosate products (like Roundup) to control weeds that are poisonous to the touch, such as poison ivy, wild parsnip and giant hogweed,” Cowbrough says. Although using these types of products should be used as a last resort, they can be effective at killing the offending weed.

What do I do if I’m exposed to Giant Hogweed?
If you come into contact with giant hogweed, seek immediate shelter since exposure to the sap makes human skin hypersensitive to sunlight. Thoroughly wash exposed skin with soap and water. If your skin reacts to the sap, seek medical attention. If the sap comes into contact with your eyes, seek immediate medical attention since the sap can cause temporary or permanent blindness.

Helpful links

Anja Sonnenberg is a horticulturist who writes about the fun she has in her garden on her blog, A Gardener’s Playground.
Places to report sightings:  For York region: click here (or your local Conservation Authority)

 Where can you find additional information on giant hogweed?
Additional information on Hogweed you may be obtained by calling the Invading 
Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711 and from the following websites:
From an American site called Department of Environmental Conservation

More about Giant Hogweed:

Okay hope that helps you out, if I find anything more will let you know.

Remember do something nice today for someone!
Alice M

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the information Alice ;o) They had a report about this on the news too! Scary stuff!


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