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Summer Danger
by Trudi

I wish that I could write about the normal summer dangers - the ones that are due to the sun. However due to this unusual cool rainy weather, it seems unneeded right now.

This cool damp summer weather has caused a dangerous plant, the giant hogweed, to grow really well all over the lower mainland (from North/West Vancouver to Surrey/Langley) of British Columbia this year. This plant came from Asia but now grows here like other weeds. They are very pretty plants. They grow really tall with white flowers. The purple-coloured stems are fat and hollow.

The danger with the hogweed is that the sap (liquid from the stem) can burn your skin and leave a scar. The hogweed’s sap and pollen (small seeds from the flowers) can also cause you to go blind if it gets into your eyes. Because they are growing so well this summer, it is important that you know what they look like so that you and your family can stay away from them. If any of the plant gets onto you or your family, wash the area very well and stay out of the sun for 48 hours (2 days).

Even though the weather is not sunny yet, it is still important to go outside and enjoy the summer. Try some of the things Tazim suggested in last week’s weekly feature, but if you are outdoors remember to be careful and have fun.

CBC news video about the Giant Hogweed

Information and pictures about the Giant Hogweed

(July 17, 2011)

Visit Last Week's Feature:  Summer Fun—Free or Nearly Free

Weekly Feature Index

(Includes all 2002 to date Weekly Features with descriptions)