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DO NOT TOUCH THIS PLANT!

Luis Asencio
Marketing & Branding Guru

Common Name: Giant Hogweed | Scientific Name: Heracleum Mantegazzianum

Though the giant hogweed plant looks appealing to the eye with a tall green stem and white flowers on top, it's not a plant you want to touch. Doing so could lead to serious health problems, including blindness. After touching hogweed, people can experience symptoms of severe burning and blistering on the skin, sometimes requiring a skin graft. If the sap gets into the eyes, it can cause long-term sunlight sensitivity and even blindness.

Characteristics of the Giant Hogweed Plant:

  • White flowers with 50-150 flower rays clustered into an umbrella shaped flower cluster up to 2.5 feet across
  • ‍Between 7 and 14 feet tall (depending upon growth stage and if mowed or cut)
  • Huge leaves, incised and deeply lobed up to 5 feet across
  • Stems are green with extensive purple splotches and prominent coarse white hairs. Stems are also hollow, ridged, 2-4 inches in diameter, and have a thick circle of hairs at base of leaf stalk

Giant hogweed stem with course white hairs and purple blotches
  • ‍Seeds are dry, flattened, and oval. Approximately 3/8 inch long and tan with brown lines (oil tubes) extending 3/4 of the seed length that widen at end
Giant hogweed seeds - approximately 3/8 inch long with brown lines (oil tubes) extending 3/4 of the seed length

Though the giant hogweed plant looks appealing to the eye with a tall green stem and white flowers on top, it's not a plant you want to touch. Doing so could lead to serious health problems, including blindness.