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Heracleum sosnowskyi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Heracleum
Species: H. sosnowskyi
Binomial name
Heracleum sosnowskyi
Desv. ex Fisch.

Heracleum sosnowskyi or Sosnowsky's Hogweed, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, originally native to Caucasus. Now it is a common weed in the Baltic States, Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Poland.

The species is named for the honor of Russian botanist Dmitry Sosnovsky.[citation needed]

Heracleum sosnowskyi is up to 3–5 meters in height,[1] with a straight, firm stem that can reach a diameter of 12 cm.[1] The leaves are 50–60 cm long. The root is very firm, up to 30 cm diameter. The inflorescence is a big umbel found at the end of every stem. It blooms during July through September and produces thousands of seeds. They are easily distributed by the wind but especially by the water.

All parts of Heracleum sosnowskyi contain the intense toxic allergen furanocoumarin. It is dangerous for humans because even small drops of plant's juice cause photosensitivity and burns.[2] The plant is less dangerous for animals that have thick hair to protect them from the sun. In Russia, Heracleum sosnowskyi once was used as a silage plant, and sometimes as a shield-hedge along the roads, preventing farm animals from escaping and wild animals from getting in.[1] Flowers are largely visited by flies and beetles; bees do not appear to favor its nectar.[citation needed]

The plant was once common only in the Caucusas area, however due to a decision to use it as a silage plant it quickly spread in many areas of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. This decision was made in 1947, under Stalin's rule, so later, when the species proved to be highly invasive and difficult to remove, people started to call it "Stalin's revenge".[3] It is unclear however, how widespread this naming was before the media picked it up as a catchy name. It could be possible that this name was in fact coined by the Russian media in the end of the 90s or the early 2000s, but since then it has become pretty common in the news.[citation needed] It is also commonly known as Borschevik.

Heracleum sosnowskyi is a highly invasive plant in the Baltic States, Poland and Belarus.[4] Many river valleys and roadsides are occupied by large stands of this weed. It is difficult to eradicate because the seeds remain viable for many years and the roots are difficult to remove. Herbicides are widely used in a fight against Heracleum sosnowskyi but plant can later resprout from the roots.[5]

Safety instructions[edit]

Damaged hand due to physical contact with the plant.
Distribution of Heracleum sosnowskyi in Europe

Protective water-resistant clothing and protective glasses or goggles must be worn by the personnel when cutting the plant due to the risk of skin contact with splashes of the toxic sap and sap coated fragments of the plant[6] A respirator is also heavily advised.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Sosnovskio barštis - kenksmingas augalas" [Dangerous plant H. sosnowskyi] (in Lithuanian). Lietuvos valstybinių parkų ir rezervatų asociacija. July 24, 2007. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Kova su barščiais" [Battle against Heracleum] (in Lithuanian). 
  3. ^ "Как спастись от "мести Сталина"" [How to Save Oneself from "Stalin's Revenge"] (in Russian). Izvestiya. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  4. ^ "["Stalin's Revenge" spreads not just in Poland and the Baltic States]" (in Russian). 2009-05-09. Retrieved 2010-10-22. 
  5. ^ http://gyvenimas.delfi.lt/naujos_formos/ar-virti-barscius-is-barsciu.d?id=34317113
  6. ^ http://www.giant-alien.dk, The Giant Hogweed Best Practice Manual, http://www.giant-alien.dk/pdf/Giant_alien_uk.pdf
  7. ^ Practical experience in combating the plant

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heracleum_sosnowskyi — Please support Wikipedia.
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11 videos found

Гераклеум или Борщевик Сосновского (Heracleum sosnowskyi)

Забавная медоносная трава))

Video: Phototoxic giant plant spreads out to Minsk outskirts

Heracleum sosnowskyi, a giant invasive plant known for its phototoxicity, has flourished this year throughout Belarus thanks to favorable weather conditions....

Eesti invasiivsed karuputked

Ettekanne aastast 2006 Heracleum sosnowskyi (Sosnovki karuputk), Heracleum mantegazzianum (hiid-karuputk) jt.

Wylewanie barszczu

Barszcz Sosnowskiego - Heracleum sosnowskyi rozprzestrzeniająca się, dzięki niefrasobliwości właścicieli terenów. Film obrazuje moją próbę walki z tą niebezp...

Ale jaja,niezły kawał

robienie ludzi w konia.

Мамиными молитвами..))

Klub Przyrodników - Ochrona muraw kserotermicznych - Wycinanie drzew i krzewów

Ochrona muraw kserotermicznych - Wycinanie drzew i krzewów // Xerothermic grasslands conservation - Trees and shrubs removal.

The Giant Hogweed: Field Research 2011

http://sites.google.com/site/gianthogweedproject Giant Hogweed (H. Sosnowskyi, H. Mantegazzianum) are noxious, poisonous weeds native to the Caucasus region ...

Пчелы Сосновские 2

The Giant Hogweed Project

http://sites.google.com/site/gianthogweedproject Giant Hogweed (H. Sosnowskyi, H. Mantegazzianum) are noxious, poisonous weeds native to the Caucasus region ...

11 videos found

2 news items

Tautinis žinių ir gyvenimo būdo portalas

Tautinis žinių ir gyvenimo būdo portalas
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:45:00 -0700

Jiems priskiriami Sosnovskio barštis (Heracleum sosnowskyi), kurio sultys gali nudeginti odą, kanadinė rykštenė (Solidago canadensis), smulkiažiedė sprigė (Impatiens parviflora) ir kiti. Invaziniai augalai užima vis didesnius plotos, juos sunku išnaikinti.


Wed, 02 Apr 2014 03:27:11 -0700

To niebezpieczna roślina, która powinna być przez właściciela gruntu - z zachowaniem szczególnych środków ostrożności - likwidowana. Barszcz Sosnowskiego (Heracleum Sosnowskyi) został sprowadzony do Polski z Kaukazu. Był nadzieją byłych PGR-ów ...

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