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Giant Hogweed look-alike?

Posted by eurstupid 10 (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 25, 14 at 5:45

Spotted this monster along a roadway in a ditch. It's easily 10' tall.
I was thinking some type of wild lettuce but it just doesn't seem to match up. Closest I found was Lactuca Canadensis, but the leaves seem a lot denser coming from the stalk.
The bottom half has either been browsed or pruned so I'm wondering if this is the flowering stalk of Giant Hogweed. There seems to be quite a space where the bottom leaves were, which indicates to me they were spread out pretty far.
Interested in what this is. Thanks

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Giant Hogweed look-alike?

This image was taken about 20' from the plant. Only way I could get the whole image in it. I couldn't get near the plant because there is a ton of PI around it.

RE: Giant Hogweed look-alike?

Just one more image of the plant.

RE: Giant Hogweed look-alike?

I can guarantee you that it isn't Giant Hogweed. It could be a Lactuca or Sonchus. Height is often variable depending on the growing conditions.

RE: Giant Hogweed look-alike?

It looks like a Lactuca to me, and their leaves are highly variable in shape and position. You didn't tell us where you live, but it is probably a bit early for Lactuca floridana, and its leaves are usually much more spread out. The two other tall species in the States are L. canadensis and L. biennis. Yours is most like L. biennis, with leaves dense that far up the stem. That species is most common in the northern half of the US, but sometimes wanders south.

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