invasive plant found
Ironwood Daily Globe
-- Imagine Queen Anne's Lace on steroids.
imagine a plant which can cause a worse burn than poison
ivy, one that might leave a permanent scar.
you'll understand why local gardeners may wish to follow
federal guidelines and get rid of any giant hogweed infestations
sites with giant hogweed have been found in residential
neighborhoods in Ironwood, according to Joyce Price, of
the Michigan State University-Extension office here.
plant was introduced to North America from Europe, where
it was regarded as a garden curiosity. Its beauty nearly
caused Price to make a serious mistake.
had noticed it over at my friend's house, on Florence,
street, and thought it was very beautiful," said Price.
"I thought very seriously about transplanting it into
my own garden, never thinking that it was invasive, or
that it was poisonous."
stems of the plants, circled by green leaves, stand on
a yard on Gogebic Street and another on Florence Street.
They are six to seven feet high and would grow much larger
in a more forgiving climate.
the clear, watery sap the plants exude which does its
damage. It sensitizes the skin to ultraviolet radiation,
according to literature published by the State of Washington.
This can result in severe burns to the affected areas,
resulting in severe blistering and painful dermatitis.
blisters can develop into purplish or blackened scars.
Gogebic County resident discovered the plants here.
had a gentleman come in and he had found the stand over
on Gogebic street, and sent it down to the University
of Michigan to have it identified," said Price. "They're
the ones who told him what he had. They suggested that
he should notify local appropriate people.
report to the U of M was the first documented report of
finding this in the Upper Peninsula."
said Sue Trull, who heads up the invasive species fight
on the Ottawa National Forest, and Ian Shackleford, botanist
on the Ottawa, were made aware of the plant.
three of us discussed what we wanted to do in terms of
making this known to the public," said Price, who contacted
Shackleford because he had presented a slide program on
invasive species to the local garden club this summer.
nobody will force you to remove the plants, the federal
government would rather they be destroyed, Price said.
recommendation is to make a decision as to whether you
want to get rid of it," she said. "If you consider it
to have value, you just have to leave it alone, not touch
it and not let it spread. And make sure that anybody coming
into your yard doesn't touch it."
best thing would be to cut the seed heads off before they
go to seed," she said, and suggested waterproof gloves,
heavy clothing and eye protection when dealing with the
is on the federal noxious list, and they would prefer
that we get rid of it so it doesn't have the opportunity
to spread," she said. "We are interested in knowing anyplace
in the county that it has been seen.
people are interested in getting rid of it from their
yard, we're considering a public drive to rid the county
of it. They certainly could leave their name and address
may be reached at the extension office, 932-1420.