Spotted in Bearsden – ‘UK’s most dangerous plant’ that causes severe burns and even blindness

A warning has gone out to Bearsden residents over a toxic weed growing out of control which can cause severe burns and even blindness.

Monday, 11th May 2020, 1:29 pm
Giant Hogweed - Heracleum mantegazzianum.

The Giant Hogweed plant has been spotted by a local woman in the Kirk Road area.

A local woman posted on a community Facebook site: “Please be aware that giant hogweed is back between Ashoka and the Church (it is not yet growing over the railings but soon will) and this year it has also made its way into the planter on the pavement.

“I have reported it to the council and they are going to get someone out to it.

“In the meantime, stay clear!”

Giant Hogweed has been described as ‘the most dangerous plant in Britain’ by the Mersey Basin Rivers Trust, based in England.

Heracleum mantegazzianum, or Giant Hogweed, can reach over 10ft in height and poses a ‘serious risk’ to people who are unaware of its potential for harm, according to the Royal Horticultural Society.

Toxic sap from the weed, which grows near canals and rivers, can increase the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight, often leading to burns - and can cause temporary or even permanent blindness if the sap gets into the eye.

Symptoms may persist for at least five years. The plant is also particularly dangerous for dogs.

The NHS advises: “If the sap of the Giant Hogweed comes into contact with your skin, it can cause severe, painful burns and make your skin sensitive to strong sunlight.

“If you touch a Giant Hogweed, cover the affected area, and wash it with soap and water.

“The blisters heal very slowly and can develop into phytophotodermatitis, a type of skin rash which flares up in sunlight. If you feel unwell after contact with Giant Hogweed, speak to your doctor.”

For more information on the dangers of Giant Hogweed, visit