Feeds

New Yorkers battle giant blindness-causing plants

Botanical SWAT teams confront triffid-esque menace

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Authorities in New York State have warned residents to keep a sharp look-out for the giant hogweed – the alien invader from the Caucasus Mountains which has the power to cause "severe skin and eye irritation, painful blistering, permanent scarring and blindness".

A giant hogweed. Pic: Department of Environmental ConservationThe Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is in its fourth year of battling Heracleum mantegazzianum (pictured), and has six botanical SWAT teams on standby to purge the 944 known New York giant hogweed sites of the menace. Citizens who sight the beast are warned not to approach it, but rather provide photographic and location information to the department.

The giant hogweed 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", DEC explains.

It adds: "It has become established in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Seeds may also be distributed by birds and waterways, and can remain viable for over 10 years."

Map of giant hogweed distribution on New York State. Pic: DEC

The giant hogweed's nasty bite is due to its production of furocoumarin derivatives which cause phytophotodermatitis, or burning of the skin in exposure to ultraviolet light. Older readers may recall the UK's own Heracleum mantegazzianum scare of the early 1970s, which prompted prog-rock outfit Genesis to issue this chilling warning to humanity. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.