As the summer season approaches, people who enjoy taking walks in the woods should be cautious as there is a dangerous plant lurking around. While many are aware of the fast-growing Japanese Knotweed and its destructive nature, the Giant Hogweed is the plant that people should really be wary of. This plant, also known as Heracleum mantegazzianum, is one of the UK’s most dangerous plants and can grow up to 1.5m wide and 3m long. Its leaves are slightly similar to rhubarb leaves with irregular edges, and the underside of the leaf is hairy.
Recently, eagle-eyed social media users who are well-versed in the plant world have pointed out the dangers of this plant, and one such TikToker is @sapianism who uploaded a video explaining why he deems it to be “one of the UK’s most dangerous plants.” As he approached the plant in question, the TikToker went on to say that he “won’t even touch this thing” as he knows what it is capable of doing. He then zoomed in on the plant in further detail, before continuing to uncover its main threats, including how it can lead to third-degree burns.
The sap contained in this plant removes your skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun, and this effect can last up to seven years. Even handling this plant can get the sap on your skin, and if you get this sap on your skin and you go out into the sun, you can suffer third-degree burns that can last for years. Even after the burns heal, if you go out again and get the sap on your skin, the same thing can happen again. This warning should be taken seriously as the effects of this plant can be long-lasting and extremely painful.
The Giant Hogweed is a cousin of a decently edible plant known as common hogweed. However, this plant grows monstrously, and it can reach up to ten, twelve, or even fourteen feet. Another social media user, @eatthecountry, echoed @sapianism’s thoughts, questioning whether it was “Britain’s nastiest plant.” This plant is so dangerous that if you’re caught growing it, you can get up to two years in prison. If you cut it down and want to get rid of it, you have to take it to a special license facility because it’s so nasty – it’s easier to get rid of nuclear waste!
The sap of this plant contains something called furanocoumarins, which causes photodermatitis. Photodermatitis is like what happens to vampires when they walk out in the sunlight – if you get the sap of this plant on your skin and you put it in sunlight, it’ll basically blister and turn really, really nasty. The leaves of the Giant Hogweed are much more jagged and sharp-edged as opposed to regular Hogweed leaves, which are much smoother. But the most tell-tale sign is the stem, which has these dirty sprays of purple patches on it.
It is illegal to grow this plant, and it should be eradicated as it poses a severe threat to human health. However, the plant is widespread and challenging to get rid of. It is essential to be aware of this plant and avoid it at all costs, especially when taking walks in the woods. If you come across this plant, it is best to report it to the authorities, and they will handle it accordingly.
In conclusion, the Giant Hogweed is a dangerous plant that people should be aware of, especially when taking walks in the woods. The effects of this plant can be long-lasting and extremely painful, and it is best to avoid it at all costs. If you come across this plant, it is essential to report it to the authorities so that they can handle it accordingly.