Be cautious of giant hogweed friends.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has put this plant near the top of its Federal Noxious Weed list. Officials in Washington are asking residents to be on the lookout for it so they can eradicate it. In New York a hotline has been set up so residents can easily report sightings, and crews in several states are seeking it out and destroying it. To date it has been reported in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Vermont.
The plant is the giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), originally from central Asia. Since its discovery it has spread all over the world, because as a specimen plant it is a knockout. White flowers nearly 3 feet in diameter bloom on top of stalks that can reach 15 feet tall. The tropical looking compound leaves grow 3-5 feet across and up to 9 feet…
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