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Giant Hogweed

Heracleum mantegazzianumQuick ID:Giant Hogweed

  • A member of the carrot or parsley family, a perennial with tuberous root stalks.
  • Stalks and stem are hollow, stems vary from two to four inches in diameter.
  • May grow 15 to 20 feet tall, except for size it closely resembles cow parsnip.
  • Has stout dark reddish-purple stem and spotted leaf stalks

Habitat:

  • May colonize a wide variety of habitats but is most common along roadsides, rights-of-way, vacant lots, streams and rivers.

How It Got Here:

  • Originally from Asia & introduced as an ornamental.
  • Planted as a curiosity in European and North American private gardens early in the twentieth century.

Reasons for Concern:

  • Giant Hogweed is a public health hazard due to it’s clear, watery sap which has toxins that cause photo-dermatitis.
  • Skin contact followed by exposure to sunlight produces painful, burning blisters that may develop into purplish or blackened scars.
  • Applicators must be careful with removal of this plant.

Video: Controlling Invasive Plants – Giant Hogweed