common hogweed identification

They learned about a fascinating and very useful plant, and how to mindfully harvest it, play safely near it, cherish its uses and respect its potential dangers.”. The seeds are delicious! Hi Sarah, Here it is: Awareness is key. I’m almost crying! But this probably says more about Scottish weather than the properties of the plant! There are now eight known subspecies of Heracleum sphondylium (Common Hogweed) in the UK. But children have thinner and more sensitive skin and I have heard of issues with common hogweed too. Our local variety’s leaves are like a very large, hairy Ground-elder with 3 lopes and virtually no serrations. Safe identification of Common Hogweed is essential, but once you know both plants mistakes are hard to make. I’m based in West Cornwall. You just need to spend some time tuning in. Heracleum persicum in the middle east, and heracleum maximum in N. America are closely related, and the seeds of these can be used in similar ways to those described below. GM maize? Fried in butter until the leaves start to crisp and brown, they are unsurpassed and best eaten as a stand alone vegetable. skin type, predisposition to sunburn, part of skin exposed etc). Some never get bigger than a foot or two, some very young shoots can be very fat. There is not a lot as you may imagine, although a lot more in edible plants with much lower concentrations of the toxic compounds (e.g., celery). Hogweed shoots fried in butter on an open fire is one of the great wild food treats of the year. Thanks for getting in touch. Concentration is highest in the green seeds. Kapow! How ignorant most folk are now of all things natural like being exposed to the natural world including dirt, bacteria, the elements and hard physical work from an early age. I am now very mindful of bees, but the incident sparked a fascination in me for their life cycle and usefulness in nature that has enriched my life ever since. Good question. Thanks. Ha – glad you enjoyed them. ... Common Name : Giant hogweed, giant cow parsnip, cartwheel flower: Plant Type: Biennial or perennial: Mature size: 15 to 20 feet tall: Bloom Time: Summer: Flower Color: White: Identification . Two different phenotypes of common hogweed. If you carefully read this post and the thread above, it should shed light on most of your questions. Compiled from various sources by Galloway Wild Foods. Visiting Galloway for Galloway Wild Foods Events, Corona Virus and Galloway Wild Foods Events. It’s the same with anything.. Fire for example,,, Dangerous but extremely useful. Hi Steve, this is not true I’m afraid. So, what to look for when identifying Giant Hogweed….. With regards to your final comment, yes, I am very careful of what I touch and what I eat, and advocate this approach to anyone interested in foraging. True to its name, giant hogweed is a giant in every respect. See more ideas about common hogweed, wild food, wild apple. Knowledge, often hard-won, both shields us from harm and opens new opportunities. 🙂 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. Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees, flies. Thanks Maryam. Education, information and knowledge are the best tools against misadventure by young and old. Now then, Mum was gardening 2 weeks ago without gloves on…weeding…we live in Devon/Cornwall. A lesson learned, but not off-putting, it was truly a delight and I look forward to boiling some up :=). Here in Aberdeenshire we have a lot of Common Hogweed on our smallholding and I regularly collect it to feed to our horses who absolutely love it. It can cause burns, but not so serious to be covered for 7 years. Giant hogweed has hairs all over the stem and underneath the leaves, angelica is fairly hairless. The world has grown soft and fearful. Older leaves are not so appealing, but  make an excellent addition to a stock pot. Giant hogweed leaves are divided into three or five lobes and sharply pointed with a spiky appearance. I hope she is OK? A few of us are talking about taking matters into our own hands, in the meantime I can be pretty sure it hasn’t been sprayed to date (this year at least) but I’m not prepared to volunteer my services as a guinea pig. Here they are: I’d be interested to hear more about your experiences eating giant hogweed. There were no complaints from them through the day. I wondered as this might lead to confusion in diagnosis? Again, ignorance leading to unfortunate incidents is sad and I hope by sharing sensible information this can be reduced. I’d recommend conducting your own research around uses/safe handling of those particular  species. Last years common I also read on Plants for a Future that a sugar could be obtained from the stems. There’s an umbellifer growing near me which has big flower heads, the middle one is about 20 inches across, and some of the leaves are 2 feet long. It is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from July to October. I wanted to know why you cannot eat it (like nettles that only sting when fresh). If so many Humans had not gone away from nature we would know what to teach our children to keep them safe! :, (, Hi Mark, All Recipes; Share a Recipe; ... Identify Common Hogweed. Or would you only ever eat it from the very young shoots (before they’ve got the flower bud)? Remember, whatever one comes across has as much right to be here as you and has had many millions of years to develop forms of protection: you don’t eat fresh Nettle or Foxglove leaves or Puffer Fish with impunity! The shunning and vilification of plants is more likely to lead to misinformation and ignorance. “I did some research on the subject last year, in the scientific literature. Your email address will not be published. We have become distanced from the plants around us, and often lack the knowledge to keep ourselves (and our children) safe. The dry seeds also work extremely well in drinks and cocktails. And how do you identify them? Identification Guides. Could be Confused With Giant Hogweed, Giant hogweed is a lot larger than hog weed, the … A bit like asparagus 🙂 I was wondering, how big can the plants get before you’d avoid the stem? Giant hogweed has large leaves, spotted leaf stalks and a hollow, reddish-purple stem with fine spines that make it appear furry. Recently read a British article about using black tea for sunburns and the ignorant author was all hoity-toi closing out the article with “…and i prefer earl grey tea”… well, upper crust twit of the year award goes to them! Giant hogweed ( H. mantegazzianum ) is native to the Caucasus but is considered an invasive species in many areas outside its native range. I hope he make a full recovery and his sports and fun aren’t too adversely affected in years to come. My question is this, can the phytophotosensitisation affect even those areas not contacted by the offending chemicals in the plant sap, effectively spreading? Hi Rachel, The rash has steadily worsened, spreading to chest, abdomen and thighs over the course of 4-10 days. There was a drive to clear it all out as children were tempted to use the 2″ wide stems as ‘telescopes’, with unfortunate serious consequences. I had cut some to remove it from a well-used area, when the stem was blown across the side of my face and neck. The shunning and vilification of plants is more likely to lead to misinformation and ignorance. The dry seed casings can be ground and used in baking – try adding them to flapjack or they make a sublime parkin. To avoid confusion, these species are sometimes referred to as American cow parsnip and European cow parsnip, respectively. Heracleum persicum in the middle east, and heracleum maximum in N. America are closely related, and the seeds of these can be used in similar ways to those described below. I myself have many times wandered through stacks of Hogweed to no ill effects whatsoever. For a county level tennis player and athletics team member this is not easy. The rash produced from the sap of the native umbellifer is not so harmful. 28th April 2020. As mentioned in one of my comment replies above, there are several different strains of common hogweed throughout the UK and discussions with fellow foragers and botanists seems to show a higher incidence of adverse phytophotodermatitis in the South. Hi Monica Also, plants of the same species can vary somewhat. When still green the seed casings are pungently bitter so a little goes a long way. I am thinking of making some ‘wild’ bitters (à la Angostura) and wondering if you have any suggestions for currently easily available wild herbs and spices? Hi Mark, There can be some variation between plants in the sharpness of the lobes and divisions. Any other ideas? When cut back, both common and giant hogweed (and many other plants) have a remarkable ability to regrow to a shorter height and still produce flowering heads. The … Here in Aberdeenshire we have a lot of Common Hogweed on our smallholding and I regularly collect it to feed to our horses who absolutely love it. The sweetness tempers the bitterness, though I have to say, I quite like some bitterness in my “flavour-bombs”! As if their sheer deliciousness isn’t enough, common hogweed is extremely good for you, being packed with  minerals, and comparing favourably in lots of departments with other “super foods” – both wild and cultivated. Reminds me of my sister touching an electric fire!, Thanks Liam, some great detailed pictures there. I have been foraging for a few years now but not yet tried hogweed. Mark.  As with many spices, dry toasting the seeds before use lifts the aromatics. The dry seeds of a very close relation to common hogweed, heracleum persicum, is widely used in Iranian cuisine, where the spice is known as golpar, and used in savoury dishes. It tends to be found on river banks and alongside canals; the photo below was taken alongside the Frome in May 2009 and gives an idea of how tall it can get, although it can grow to 5m. Add them peeled to stir-fries, deep fry in tempura batter or to pickles. I alerted the children to the danger. Hogweed is one of the most common of the carrot family, becoming the dominant white flowered roadside umbellifer of summer and early autumn in most of the UK, after the cow parsley has dwindled and before wild angelica takes its place in the succession. Have come to your website after someone I follow on Twitter retweeted your tweet about common hogweed. So now you’ve read all of these warnings, you are probably wondering why you might bother? Size is the most obvious difference and by now giant hogweed would be two plus meters tall, angelica won’t generally get larger than 1.5 meters in it’s life. Taken internally, you have no worries about sunlight. Do you include the seeds in that? Giant hogweed, an invasive plant which can be very dangerous to humans, was introduced to Scotland by horticulturalists as an ornamental plant in the 19th Century but it soon spread out of control. Of athletics, tennis, swimming and perhaps even a little taste raw and i d! Raw, so shouldn ’ t be common hogweed are harmful to humans and their enthusiasm is encouraging to. And many happy years of athletics, tennis, swimming et cetera, quite... 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