The City of Coquitlam has made the eradication of invasive species, including Giant Hogweed (that’s Hogweed, not Hogwart’s) a priority due to a threat to the natural ecosystem and human health.
Invasive species such as English Ivy, Yellow Lamium, Periwinkle, Morning Glory, Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed take over the natural environment push out native plants and reduce and degrade habitat for fish, birds, and other wildlife.
They are expensive to control and eradicate. These plants grow aggressively, adapt to different situations and are persistent in their spread.
Giant Hogweed is a particular problem as it is a vicious plant – it can actually cause injury to people. The sap contained in the hairs covering the plant and in the stem can cause severe burns when in contact with human skin.
Hogweed is called “giant” because it grows quickly to heights of up to 5.5m.
Giant Hogweed can be identified by its white flower blooms and the stiff white hairs that cover most of the plant.
City staff monitors public lands for any signs of Giant Hogweed and are asking residents to eliminate it from their properties.
However, before you go out and start hacking away at any Giant Hogweed plants, you should read the section of the Art of War where they discuss the importance of knowing your enemy.
Of course you should also review information available through Worksafe BC regarding proper personal protective gear if you plan to remove Giant Hogweed yourself. Even better, hire a qualified and experienced landscape professional.
Visit www.coquitlam.ca/hogweed to report on-line any Giant Hogweed sightings in Coquitlam and for safety tips for removing this plant from your property.
Remember, Giant Hogweed should be considered armed and dangerous. Be prepared before approaching any Giant Hogweed!!