Thursday, July 7, 2011
Giant Hogweed - Green Monster
I have posted on this in the past and it does not get better the second time around. I presume this noxious weed is an annual and will be killed of in the fall. In the meantime it is important to intercept the flowers, by either cutting the plant down, checking later for regrowth or simply clipping the flower heads as they open. That last method would work for a nearby homeowner who does not wish to be in actual contact with leaves and stems.
It requires more vigilance but could be practical at least. Actual removal of the plant is obviously not recommended without special clothing and equipment.
The reality is that this plant needs to be irradiated and this will take a public education program that gets everyone out looking for sites. It will be a lot of hard work that may best driven by buying dug up plants for one year only to provide a one time incentive long before the seeds mature.
By KATE SHEEHY
Last Updated: 9:58 AM, July 6, 2011
Posted: 1:01 AM, July 6, 2011
It's got beautiful flowers as big as umbrellas -- and sap that causes blindness and third-degree burns -- and it could be coming soon to a city park near you.
Giant Hogweed, a monster plant that looks like Queen Anne's Lace -- but is more akin to the man-eating-plant Audrey II from "Little Shop of Horrors" -- is spreading in
state, with dozens more confirmed sightings
since last year, experts said yesterday. New
The botanical beast is so rampant that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has even set up a special Giant Hogweed Hotline -- and ordered a special 14-man crew to root out its nesting spots along streams, roads and unsuspecting residents' back yards.
"If the sap gets on your skin and it's exposed to sunlight . . . you end up with third-degree burns, oozing and scars," Naja Kraus, the DEC's Giant Hogweed Program coordinator, told The Post.
"If it gets in your eyes, you can go blind."
The outwardly stunning plant -- with up to 20-foot stalks, 2½-foot-wide flowers and 5-foot leaves -- is now in full bloom, Kraus said.
There are currently 1,004 confirmed sightings -- 60 more than last year.
The plant was brought to
around the late 1800s, and since then has spread
mainly through the central and western parts of the state. The closest
confirmed sighting to New
York New York City has been the
Muttontown Preserve on Long Island.
Asked if there had been any sighted in places such as
Park, Kraus said no, but quickly added, "Just because it
hasn't been reported doesn't mean it isn't there."
Kraus said her office has received reports of kids using the plant's 4-inch-wide stems as telescopes, putting them up to their eyes -- and getting severe burns on their faces.
And even DEC workers aren't safe: A technician who came in contact with the plant last year "got a horrible burn on her leg that she still has to cover up," Kraus said.