Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) - Non-native Species

Giant hogweed
(Photo credit: RPS Group plc)

Giant hogweed was first introduced to the UK in 1893 as an ornamental plant. Each plant can grow up to 5m in height and produce up to 50,000 seeds. It forms dense colonies which shade out native vegetation. In a similar way to Himalayan balsam, Giant hogweed dies back in the winter leaving bare ground which is susceptible to erosion. This species also poses a threat to public health. A toxic chemical in the sap sensitizes the skin which can lead to severe blistering when exposed to sunlight.

ID Sheet
Management advice