What is 14 feet tall, green, hairy and produces toxic sap? Knowing the answer could ‘save your skin’ and even your life.
Do you know your ‘UMBELLIFERS’? Do any dangerous ones grow in Flaxton?
This family of plants with umbrella-shaped flowers look similar but some are relatively short, sweet and innocent, like cow parsley and pignut (which grow in Flaxton) and others look impressive, like the tallest – giant hogweed but produce toxic sap which, once on your skin, can produce ping pong ball sized blisters (see photo) with long-lasting nasty effects.
Giant hogweed has been in the news recently, as with the hot weather it’s been prolific, people find it appealing and are unaware of the consequences of touching it.
An umbellifer shorter than ‘the giant’, which can cause blistering on a smaller scale, grows in Flaxton. Do you know it? Another member resembles cow parsley but is taller and poisonous. Do you know that one?
Read how to identify the deadly and the dangerous members of the family, some that foragers love, and learn a bit of botany on the way.
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