Beware of Giant Hogweed! That's the sign at Grimsby Beach where Dezi runs around chasing squirrels or the scent of squirrels. Yesterday we were right up close to giant hogweed along the path at the water. There it was among the giant Japanese Knot Weed. Both are invasive, but giant Hogweed is a hazard to humans when the sap comes in contact with human skin. When the skin is then exposed to sunlight, severe burning and weeping blisters can result and cause lasting scars.
Hogweed is part of the carrot and parsley family. I have some brown-leafed cow parsley 'Ravenswing' in my garden and it is a decorative plant. Queen Anne's Lace is another relative we see everywhere. And the magnificent giant Angelica can be mistaken for Hogweed. Angelica is an herb. I expect that when you see giant Hogweed, you'll recognize as I did. It is massive even now so early in the season.
Today we're looking at Wisteria - there's a variety blooming now - Wisteria frutescens and it can be identified easily as it blooms later than the one shown here. Its leaves are fully out and the flower clusters are smaller like bunches of grapes.