Friday, 18 July 2014

Rangers v giant hogweed - let battle commence!

Rangers have been winning the battle against one of their arch enemies - giant hogweed.

It might sound like something out of a Harry Potter book but the plant (Lat. Heracleum mantegazzianum) is a very real threat.

Giant hogweed is one of the most problematic invasive non-native species in Britain today. It can grow up to five metres in height, with each plant producing many thousands of seeds a year, and contains a poisonous sap that causes painful blistering and severe skin irritation.

Yet it was exported by the Victorians as an ornamental plant, one of many foreign plants brought into Britain in the 19th century, mainly for ornamental reasons.

Originally from Caucasus it is now widespread throughout the British Isles, especially along riverbanks. By forming dense stands, giant hogweed can displace native plants and reduce wildlife interests.

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