As you can probably expect the most commonly asked questions regarding Giant Hogweed are “What does Giant Hogweed look like?”, “How do I identify Giant Hogweed” and so on and so forth. Hopefully this guide will go some way to answering those questions and provide you with the information needed to correctly identify Giant Hogweed.
We need to make you aware of the visual similarities between Giant Hogweed, Common Hogweed and Cow Parsnip. To the untrained eye these plants are bear a remarkable resemblance to each other. Click this link for the differences. As a precaution if you come across one of these plants and you are not sure which species it is, then just stay clear. Giant Hogweed and Common Hogweed are harmful to humans and their pets.
So, what to look for when identifying Giant Hogweed…..
Giant hogweed leaves are divided into three or five lobes and sharply pointed with a spiky appearance. The leaves have been known to grow 1 metre in width.
The serrated edges of the leaf are a telling feature associated with Giant Hogweed. The underside of the leaves grow dangerous sap producing hairs
The flower heads shape resembles that of an umbrella and can grow to a diameter of 50cm
A close up of the flowers produced by Giant Hogweed. A single flower head can contain thousands of small white / off white flowers
When Giant Hogweed is ready to seed, the flowers will dropoff and the seeds produced in their place
A flower head can contain around 50 rays which grow off the stem and support the flowers
The stems are green and purple in colour and will grow between 5 – 10cm’s in diameter
The hairs growing on the stems and underside of the leaves produces the sap, which if brushed against can cause serious health risks to humans and pets alike.
Everything you wanted to know about Giant Hogweed but were too afraid to ask
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