Giant Hogweed



Image courtesy of the Invasive Species Society of British Columbia

Latin name:

Heracleum mantegazzianum

Native to:

Central Asia

Regional Distribution:

Giant hogweed is currently found in a very limited distribution within the Shuswap Region. In BC, it can be found in the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Gulf Islands, and central to southern Vancouver Island.


Giant hogweed has numerous small white flower 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 and always flowers above 3 meters.  It is easily confused with native cow’s parsnip which typically flowers at around 2 meters and has smaller, less pointy leaves. Giant Hogweed VS Cow Parsnip


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.