FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Heracleum mantegazzianum, giant hogweed

Heracleum mantegazzianum; The giant hogweed is not really a typical representative of the Icelandic flora. It is an Asian plant that has widely settled in Western Europe. I saw this plant while walking through the woodlands of Thörsmörk. Being a visitor I had a dilemma: should I tear out this plant because it is a non-Icelandic, strongly invasive species or should I - as a humble guest to the land - leave it. I chose the latter, knowingly too that for some people this plant can cause extreme allergic reaction on skin contact. I have heard of reports of children who died after heavy contact with these plants....It can grow up to 5 meters tall.
It is a member of the Carrot family ( Apiaceae formerly known as Umbelliferae). The Icelandic name of this species is Tröllahvönn.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise

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