In Search of Giants


Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) – In the first image I am standing below the plant looking up at the underneath of this massive bloom. I am 6′ 2″ tall, and these can grow up to 5m (over 16ft) tall. I was also on higher ground, the plant virtually in the river. A word of warning … do not touch these giants because they will seriously get you with burns, blisters and rashes. The sap contains furocoumarin, which if it gets on the skin makes it extremely sensitive to sunlight (phytophotodermatitis). A person can suffer phytotoxicity for months or even years, so admire this giant from a distance.


Giant Hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum

Giant Hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum

18 thoughts on “In Search of Giants

  1. They are quite something aren’t they Pete! Almost triffid like – Genesis wrote a song called “Return of the Giant Hogweed”!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pretty pictures of this giant pest, Peter. Here in the US, where it was brought as an ornamental in the early 1900s, it is invasive and difficult to get rid of. Not surprising considering its size and mean properties. I saw one in Connecticut when we lived there and could hardly believe how big it was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ellen. They were introduced here at the same time and have become a pest species. They appear to be spreading along the rivers here.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This one seems to have rather seriously earned its bad reputation, and it’s one I’m quite happy never to have encountered before (knock on wood). BTW, my daughters are fans of a group called They Might Be Giants.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The pictures are beautiful and the flower too, but … i donยดt like them!
    It is invasive and I try to make life miserable for them.
    (forgive my bad English, Peter)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your English is very good, Anki! I agree, they are a pest species and toxic, and if you get them in your garden they are very hard to get rid of.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I always get them mixed up with wild carrot for some reason. I have seen giant hogweeds but didn’t know they were that poisonous. If they come to the door a-tapping, I shall have to simulate some sea water to eradicate the triffids.

    Liked by 1 person

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