The Year of the Giant Hogweed
A photo essay charting the rise and fall of the Giant Hogweed on a particular stretch of the River Aire from April to December 2015. The Hogweed is officially classed as a ‘noxious weed’ and is notorious for its sap which can leave the human skin extremely sensitive to sunlight, resulting in blistering and, in the most severe cases of exposure, blindness. The plant was originally imported into the United Kingdom in the 1800’s and has successfully established itself across the country, especially near canals and rivers. I think all the Hogweed wants is damp earth, sunlight and the occasional human victim. It is quite my favourite plant.
They’re gone for now but the Giant Hogweed will be on the march again next year.
Photos by Damian Mark Whittle