Residents advised how to spot and report toxic Giant Hogweed plant
The plant’s toxic, watery sap can cause severe burns, painful blistering and contact between the sap and the eyes can lead to temporary or permanent blindness.
Giant hogweed resembles some native species such as Angelica, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Cow Parsnip. Unlike native plants, Giant Hogweed can grow up to 5 meters tall and has a stem 5 to 10 cm in diameter. The stem and leaf stalks are hollow, covered with coarse hairs, and are often purple-spotted. In summer, Hogweed produces a white umbrella-shaped flower from June to July which will produce large flat oval seeds.
“If you come across it or believe you have it on your property, do NOT touch it,” stresses Oliver Vigelius, Public Works Manager. “If the plant is on City property, call your local Service Centre to have the municipal weed inspector identify it. If the plant is on municipal property, the City will have it sprayed with glyphosate (herbicide). Depending on the size of the plant, it may take up to two weeks to die. If the plant has begun to go to seed, the City will sever the flower to prevent further development. If the plant has developed seeds, the City will remove the seed head and dispose of it. If it is on private property, we recommend hiring a professional,” reports Vigelius.
It is important to monitor the same location in following years as Hogweed seeds in the soil can be viable for 7 to 15 years.
To report Giant Hogweed plants, please call your local Municipal Service Centre at 705-324-9411 or toll free 1-888-822-2225.
For more information on Giant Hogweed go to Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program at www.invadingspecis.com or follow this link http://www.invadingspecies.com/invaders/plants-terrestrial/giant-hogweed/.
Or follow the link below to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Watch video about Giant Hogweed on CHEX TV http://www.chextv.com/2016/07/21/97607/
For more information contact:
Manager, West Maintenance Area (Lindsay) and Capital Projects
705-324-9411 extension 1175