Does anyone remember the giant hogweed scare? Some time in the late 70s or early 80s there was a panic that this plant, brought back to the UK by Victorian plant collectors and now escaped into the wild, could be extremely dangerous. We heard how it was phototoxic - its poison was activated by sunlight - and could cause blisters, blindness and possibly even death in children.
For months, every time anyone came across an innocent but rather large cow parsley on a walk they would avoid it in a panic or attack it with sticks. It was Day of the Triffids for real. Giant hogweed was plastered across the news (quite possibly it was the silly season). And then suddenly it was gone, never to be mentioned again. What happened? Was it literally just a pointless media scare? Is the giant hogweed still out there, lurking, plotting, waiting to get its revenge?
As a great fan of 70s prog rockers, I could hardly finish this post with anything other than Genesis and the Return of the Giant Hogweed: