Noxious Weeds Profile - Giant Hogweed

 

Table of Contents

  1. Names
  2. Photos
  3. Current Status
  4. Poisonous/Cautions
  5. Distribution
  6. Growth Habit
  7. Method of Propagation
  8. Control
  9. Related Links

Names

  • English - giant hogweed
  • French - berce du caucase
  • Latin - Heracleum mantegazzianum

Photos

Giant Hogweed
Giant Hogweed

Current Status

  • Ontario Weeds Act - noxious
  • Other provinces - no
  • Canadian Federal Seeds Act - no
  • U.S. Federal Noxious Weed - no
  • U.S. Noxious State Reg - none

Poisonous/Cautions

  • Giant hogweed can be a serious health hazard for humans. Its watery, clear sap contains photosensitizing compounds (furanocoumarins), which, when in contact with human skin and in combination with UV radiation, can cause burning. Content varies depending on plant part, but contact should be avoided at all times. The reaction of the skin depends on individual sensitivity. After 24hrs, reddening and swelling of the skin can be noticed, which is followed by an inflammatory reaction after 3 days. Depending on individual sensitivity, effects can last for months and skin can remain sensitive to UV light for years. Research has also shown that furanocoumarins in general may be carcinogenic and teratogenic.

    Source: Nielsen, C., Ravn, HP, Nentwig, W., Wade, M. (2005) The Giant hogweed best practice manual: guidelines for the management and control of an invasive weed in Europe. Forest & Landscape Denmark, Forest & Landscape Denmark, Hoersholm.

  • Canadian Poison Plant – Listed http://www.cbif.gc.ca/pls/pp/ppack.info?p_psn=195&p_type=all&p_sci=comm&p_x=px

Distribution

Growth Habit

  • Perennial

Method of Propagation

  • Reproduces only by seed

Control


Related Links


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca
Author: Mike Cowbrough - Chief Weed Inspector Ontario Weeds Act/OMAFRA
Creation Date: 20 June 2011
Last Reviewed: 20 June 2011