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Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum



  • Appearance: Large flowering plant up to 3 m in height, umbels of white flowers up to 80 cm in diameter.


  • Growth: Found along rivers, on waste ground or in rough pastures, spread by seed.


  • Impact: Public health risk – all parts of this plant produce phototoxic sap that cause skin sensitivity to UV light causing blistering, pigmentation and long-lasting scars. The ‘burns’ can recur for several years. Do NOT touch any part of this plant unless adequately protected.


  • Pathway: Originally a garden ornamental plant that has spread or escaped into the wild.




  • What to do if you see Giant hogweed for sale or other offences being committed: Make a report by following the guidance here.


  • What to do if you see this plant in the wild: Record it with a photograph (where possible).