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Discussion in 'Plants and Biodiversity Stumpers' started by Chris Klapwijk, Jul 16, 2005.
let me toss you a carrot.....
Is it coriander, also known as Coriandrum sativum?
although I use Coriandrum sativum a great deal, either as the herb cilantro, or as the spice coriander, alone or mixed with Cuminum cyminum (cumin), that's not it.
Right genus, wrong species, Ralph; it is a single umbel of the largest member of the carrot family, H. mantegazzianum, aka giant hogweed, cow parsnip, cartwheel flower.
It is native to SW Asia, classified as a noxious weed in many parts of the world, and can cause very severe dermatological reactions. A biennial or short-lived perennial, the flower stems of this species regularly exceed 4m (13.1').
Exhibiting phenomenal growth rate, the bold foliage can add a dramatic, tropical appearance to a garden, so there are places for it, just don't allow it to go to seed and be very cautious when handling it, the sap being particularly nasty.
Chris--I recall years ago the Van. Natural History Society noting a very large cow parsnip, perhaps this species, being found in a small area of the North Shore. They were surprised at that time, this was probably 15 years ago, as it was a first for B.C.
Would this be the same as the plants that are flowering now along much of the upper levels in West Van, they do seem much larger than the heracleum that is common everywhere in the Fraser Valley. Or is that rocky soil just growing em bigger up there, I wonder?
If it's an invasive from Asia, it would be right at home alongside all the buddleia that has taken over in that stretch of roadside!
I was looking at an invasion of these (giant hogweed) just yesterday and did not see that the flowers around the edge of the cluster were larger as in your pic, but I'll take your word for it.
I can't agree that "there are places for it" unless you are referring to it's native habitat in S.E.Asia. Culturing a highly invasive, dangerous introduced plant like this in anything other than a totally controlled research facility is to recklessly and needlessly endanger your neighbors and our environment in my (obviously not so humble) opinion. Anybody can have an unplanned life interruption of a couple of weeks, and if that coincides with the time you were going to remove the flowers & seeds, and a period of wind and rain, then bingo, it's on it's way and spreading. The patch I was looking at was the result of a single plant (a gift) some years ago that "got away" about 1 km away.
I've seen a young child with the burns from this plant on her face and arms (that's why I was asked to try to deal with this invasion) and it is horrible! She was lucky she was not blinded, but even so the scars can last for years. It may be spectacular, but it's a horticultural psychopath.
Glen, these pictures were taken in Langley on June 11th of this year, and the seeds are almost fully developed now, so if there is a species of Heracleum in bloom on the North Shore right now, it probably is not the same species, given plants in that area typically bloom a week or two earlier than here in Langley.
There are about 60 species of Heracleum, but only a few that get REALLY large. It might be H. sphondylium or one of its subspecies, montanum, pyrenaicum, or sibiricum, all capable of exceeding 2m (6') in height. Post a picture and maybe someone can identify it.
Ralph, I agree with you 100%, this is one nasty plant, should NEVER be grown in private gardens and I would never recommend it to anyone(, but some people still insist on cultivating it. I threatened to take my plants and walk out of a plant sale in White Rock several years ago, when I noticed one of the other vendors trying to sell "Himalayan orchids", Impatiens glandulifera, for $5 a piece, while he was only too well aware of how invasive it can be.)
Bloom times overlap. But native one doesn't have as many divisions in basal leaves, is less awkward and coarse. The hogweed tends to have quite large leaves right below rather leafless flower stalk, as can be seen in photo, whereas native is usually more pyramidal-looking, with leaves distributed evenly through the plant, tapering down gradually in size from bottom to top.
Re: Giant hogweed
Just wanted to point out that along with all the other reasons for not planting giant hogweed, there is the fact that this species is on the U.S. Federal Noxious Weed list. That means it is illegal to transport or sell across state lines without a permit. It is also on the noxious weed lists of several states, so it is illegal to sell, trade or grow within some states as well.