Jul 6, 2010

Invasive Plants

Last year, our local rag did an article about a plant that caused severe blistering and burns to skin. I couldn't remember the name of the plant, but remembered that it looked like overgrown Queen Anne's Lace.

Doing some yardwork last week, I found a patch of flowers that looked like overgrown Queen Anne's Lace - sort of. 3-5 feet tall, yellow flowers, spikey leaves...

I did some digging, and found the plant originally in question - Giant Hogweed. NYSDOT notes it as present in Western NY and spreading to the east. This is not what we have. (Hogweed is up to ten feet tall with 2-foot umbrels of flowers.)

What we have is Wild Parsnip, which isn't directly related but has some similar side effects. Specifically, getting the sap of the plant on your skin will lead to severe sunburn on the affected area very quickly.

I stopped at Lowe's the other morning and picked up a gallon jug of Round-Up, then went around the yard spraying each plant very thoroughly. So far it looks like the plant is winning. They're all in flower already, so I'll try one more treatment of Round-Up today, and if that doesn't show effects pretty quickly, I'll be gloving up and yanking them out. I do not want them going to seed and spreading further.

Now that I'm aware of the plant, I'm seeing HUGE patches of it everywhere. Ditches seem to be the favorite spot so far. Be aware of it, and if you have an infestation, take off and nuke it from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.


doubletrouble said...

I don't know if it's still available, but I use "Ammate"- it's dry crystals you mix w/water.
Murder on poison ivy, & pretty much any vegetation. I think it's related to agent orange...

I bought a 5# bag years ago, & haven't seen it for sale since- probably works TOO good.

Gudis said...

I've used 2,4-D to kill the wild parsnip in my mom's pasture, you can get it at agricultural supply places cheaper than Roundup too.