Japan has Godzilla, New York has a giant invasive weed that can burn and blind anyone silly enough to assail it.
It’s been dubbed Giant Hogweed, which, combined with this lead, may remind readers of the nigh-mythical beast Hogzilla, felled in 2004 by a South Georgia hunter.
The New York Daily Post tries to soothe the Yankee populace with this headline: “Green monster: Dangerous giant weed on the loose.”
“The botanical beast is so rampant that the state Department of Environmental Conservation has even set up a special Giant Hogweed Hotline — and ordered a special 14-man crew to root out its nesting spots along streams, roads and unsuspecting residents’ back yards,” the Post writes.
For a weed, it’s mighty impressive – 20 feet tall with 2½-foot-wide flowers and 5-foot leaves.
It’s blooming now, and is being spotted more often.
The plant’s sap can cause third degree burns. Kids have reportedly used the giant stems as pretend telescopes, but the sap can cause blindness.
Giant Hogweed is not new, the band Genesis warned us about this menace many years ago, when it was cool for rock stars to have pretty hair.
According to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, giant hogweed is “a native of the Caucasus Mountain region between the Black and Caspian Seas. It was introduced to Europe and the United Kingdom in the late nineteenth century and to the United States in the early twentieth century as an ornamental garden plant.”
If you visit New York, don’t bring any of this stuff back with you. Piedmont Park gardeners have enough problems.