Interesting facts about hogweed

The Latin name Heracleum comes from the name of the hero of ancient Greek mythology, Hercules, and was given by Linnaeus for the gigantic size of plants from this genus.

The Russian name for the plant "hogweed" comes from its use for food, specifically - for borscht. In a number of localities in Russia, the name was slightly transformed - "borshchen"

The people call the hogweed "Stalin's revenge", since it was Joseph Vissarionovich who introduced the hogweed into agricultural development in the middle of the 20th century as a fodder and silage crop. Until the 70s of the XX century, it was planted along the roads to prevent agricultural and wild animals from entering them.

Nature has endowed the hogweed with amazing fertility and vitality. The seed productivity of the central umbrella per one generative shoot is from 2, 500 to 3, 500 fruits (and inflorescences per individual are from 1 to 5, rarely up to 11), i.e. one plant produces 20-35 thousand fruits annually.

Hogweed juice is not poisonous by itself, but it increases the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. Because of this, burns begin to appear on the skin. This phenomenon is called phototoxicity and its cause is not yet fully understood by scientists.

However, there are also positive qualities of weeds - it is a good honey plant. For medicinal purposes, the leaves and roots of common hogweed are used. The plant contains: vitamin C, carotene, sugars, furocoumarins, alkaloids, resins, bitterness, essential oil, carbohydrates.