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It is often said that a weed is only a flower in the wrong place and as biodiversity in nature and native planting becomes more important, it can become less obvious which plants are good for this and which ones are not.  

Riverside had two species that are considered problematic both thrive around the river and are highly invasive..  Himalayan Balsam is a pink flowering plant that takes over, choking native species and limiting biodiversity.  Giant Hogweed is a toxic plant that can harm your skin and your pets.



Himalyan Balsam

Himalayan Balsam is a very hardy plant that thrives on riverbanks and wasteland.  We have an abundance of it around the Forth in Riverside.

It is incredibly invasive and will overwhelm spaces and eradicate many other species.  A biodiverse environment means having a range of habitats and food sources that will encourage many different creatures to live in the area.  If one species overwhelms an area less creatures will attracted.  

This plant is considered an Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) - this means it is illegal to cause it to spread which makes the removal of more complicated.  


The most effective way to control the spread of this plant is to dig up the roots and allow the plant to dry out and die in the same location.  This means that if any seeds do fall out and germinate they will not be spread any further.



Giant Hogweed is a very hardy plant that thrives on riverbanks  We have an abundance of it around the Forth in Riverside and it is particularly abundant as the seeds spread by exploding seed pods that are then transported by the river.

This plant is problematic because of it's toxic sap.  If it comes into contact it can cause photosensitivity  and your skin can become very sensitive to UV ray which can cause burn, blistering and long lasting  issues.  ​If you find it in your garden and want to remove it, do so with care, cover your arms and legs, wear gloves and a face mask is advisable.

In the event you come in to contact with the plant keep your skin out of the sun and rinse with cold water immediately.  If in any doubt, seek further medical advice.

Stirling Council has a programme to address this issue though the spread of the Giant Hogweed has got worse over the months of lockdown and the restrictions on the grounds teams and the stretched resources due to the Coronavirus crisis.

As a priority they are addressing any plants found in public spaces and when guidelines and resources allow they will deal with the plants on the riverbank.  

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