giant hogweed USDA PLANTS SYMBOL: HEMA17
Heracleum mantegazzianum Sommier & Levier

Giant hogweed is a tall (up to 15-20 ft. [4.6-6.1 m]), herbaceous, biennial plant that invades disturbed areas across both the Northeast and Pacific Northwestern United States. Giant hogweed is designated as a Federal Noxious Weed, because it produces sap that causes skin sensitivity to UV radiation and leads to blistering and severe burns. The large stem is hollow and usually marked with purple blotches. The leaves are deeply lobed, sharply pointed, and up to 5 ft. (1.5 m) wide. Flowering occurs in late spring to early summer. The white flowers are on a large umbrella-shaped head at that can be up to 2.5 ft. (0.8 m) in diameter. Giant hogweed can invade a variety of habitats but prefers moist, disturbed soils such as riverbanks, ditches and railroad right-of-ways. Giant hogweed is native to Europe and Asia. It was first introduced into the United States in 1917 for ornamental purposes.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources