Macro Monday Hogweed

Hi all, today’s subject is Hogweed; a macro plant as itself..

Heracleum sphondylium, common names eltrot’, hogweed or common hogweed, is a herbaceous perennial or biennial plant of the family Apiaceae, native to Europe and Asia.

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An extract from WildFoodUK:

Don’t be scared, be informed! 🙂 The tabloids have been having a field day with Giant hogweed over the last few weeks, and due to the danger it poses; for once I think they aren’t far from the mark.

A little knowledge and some respect for the plant should keep you and your loved ones safe. So here’s what we know about it.

Giant Hogweed is a notoriously dangerous plant which though uncommon in the UK is something you are likely to see if you spend a lot of time walking beside rivers and streams. That is its habitat; you will rarely find it far from a fresh water source.

The danger with Giant Hogweed is not poisoning, but in the way that its sap reacts with your skin. If you get the sap on you then it will react with the melanin in your skin, and removes any protection that patch has from UV light.

If the hairs or sap come into contact with your eyes they can cause blindness!

The feurocumarins that cause this effect are present in all parts of the plant.

This means that if you get it on your skin and your skin in the sun you will burn severely. The sap does not stop there though; it actually genetically alters that patch of skin so that all skin produced there for up to 7 years will have little protection from the sun.

Many plants including parsnips and common hogweed contain phototoxic sap, but none in the UK are anywhere near as severe as that of giant hogweed, though on sunny days we recommend harvesting common hogweed or even parsnips with gloves on.

With Giant Hogweed you don’t have to break the plant and rub the sap on you for the effect to take place either. The stems have fine needle like hairs that will cause irritation simply by touching it. So the rule is just stay away from the plant if you see it.

DEFRA are trying to eradicate the plant from the UK as it is a non native species. It was first introduced by the Victorians due to its majestic size, huge flowers and pre-historic looking leaves. It originated in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia and around Georgia.

Giant Hogweed is mainly a danger for children who may well use the long stems to play with as swords, pea shooters or telescopes. Walkers who may brush against it, or gardeners who may unwittingly strim the plant getting the sap on themselves.

Giant hogweed can grow to more than 4 metres tall, with flower umbels that can reach 2 feet in diameter. The numerous flower umbels on each flower stalk can measure metres in diameter altogether.

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Common hogweed seems to prefer roadsides to riversides, but it will grow almost anywhere. Giant Hogweed is almost exclusively a riverside plant.

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This one is definitely common hogweed; alongside the road, very near home…

A wonderful new week to you all 🙂

Floral Friday My Shy Rose

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Hi all!

I have had this rose for two years now. It didn’t blossom until now. When I saw the first buds I was so excited. Pink roses! I photographed each bud for days, because they were very slow.

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I have so many of them. Here I am using only the recent batch… 

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Coming along nicely…Light pink rose!

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Yes, it turned to white!!! I don’t know much about roses. This was quite a shock for me: pink buds turning into white blooms….

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It was also bizarre that petals closed after a short while… Then they fell…

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A happy Friday to you all…

Princess Flower

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Tibouchina is not normally thought of as a houseplant. Indeed, outside of the subtropical zones where it”s used as a landscape plant, it’s not much thought of at all. I think this is a shame, since it’s such a beautiful plant with striking purple flowers, silvery and velvety leaves, and an open growth habit.

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The plant also goes by the name Glory Bush or Princess Flower, perhaps because of its royal purple flowers. In terms of ease,Tibouchina is not terribly difficult, but it is particular. Meet its requirements and you’ll have a wonderful, novel houseplant. Annoy it, and you’ll have a floor littered with dead leaves and a very unhappy plant.

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Even after the petals are fallen it is still a beautiful sight, at least for me…

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Wishing you all a great day….