Giant Hogweed

 

Giant_hogweed007_JHallworth_1

Image courtesy of the Invasive Species Society of British Columbia

Latin name:

Heracleum mantegazzianum

Native to:

Central Asia

Regional Distribution:

Giant hogweed is currently not found within the Columbia Shuswap Region. In BC, it can be found in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Gulf Islands, and central to southern Vancouver Island.

Description:

Giant hogweed has numerous small white flowers clusters in an umbrella-shaped head, with stout, hollow green stems covered in purple spots. Dark green leaves are coarsely toothed in 3 large segments with stiff underside hairs, and lower leaves can exceed 2.5 metres in length. Giant hogweed can grow up to 5 metres in height at maturity.

Control:

Warning: Giant hogweed stem hairs and leaves contain a clear, highly toxic sap that, when in contact with the skin, can cause burns, blisters and scarring. WorkSafe BC has issued a Toxic Plant Warning for Giant Hogweed that requires workers to wear heavy, water-resistant gloves and water-resistant coveralls that completely covers skin while handling the plants. Eye protection is also recommended.

Contact CSISS if you find this invasive plant. 

Fun facts:
To learn the difference between Giant hogweed and native Cow parsnip see below.

Giant Hogweed VS Cow Parsnip