Did you guess this monster of a plant? For us here at SSISC, Giant Hogweed is the perfect example of why we refer to invasive species as “aliens”. With its imposing height and the potential harmful effects its sap can have on us, it comes as no surprise as to why we want to get rid of it from the Sea to Sky!
Giant Hogweed is an extremely large, noxious invasive plant that exists in small numbers in the region. Hairs on Hogweed stems and leaves exude a poisonous sap which sensitizes skin to ultraviolet radiation, resulting in severe burns, blistering, and painful dermatitis. Contact with eyes can even cause temporary or permanent blindness.
Giant Hogweed has numerous small white flowers in a large, flat topped, terminal umbrella-like cluster. Its native cousin, Cow Parsnip, is much smaller in leaves, flower clusters and height, but looks very similar to Giant Hogweed.
The Giant Hogweed out-competes native plants due to its tolerance of full shade and flooding, vigorous early-season growth, and ability to coexist with other widespread and invasive plant species. This invasive noxious weed is an eradication priority along the Sea to Sky – and a plant you definitely want to watch out for due to its dangerous health consequences.