Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), also known as Giant Cow Parsnip or Cartwheel-flower, contains toxic sap that can cause severe burns.
Giant Hogweed has spread throughout the whole of Great Britain, primarily favouring river banks, and other areas such as parks, cemeteries, and wasteland. It can be found in the common household garden, as well as in these more rural locations. The sap of the Giant Hogweed plant contains toxic chemicals known as furanocoumarins. When these chemicals come into contact with the skin in the presence of sunlight, they cause a condition called phytophotodermatitis. This condition causes reddening of the skin, which is often followed by severe burns and blistering.
The burns that are caused by Giant Hogweed can last for several months, and even once they have subsided, the skin can remain sensitive to light for many years afterwards. This makes the plant dangerous to have anywhere near your home, especially if you have children, or already have a skin condition. It’s a exceptionally unpleasant plant to have on your property, because of the dangers of coming into contact with it, so it’s best to resolve the issue and be rid of it quite swiftly.
If you suspect you that might have Giant Hogweed anywhere on your property, call Weedtec on 0800 195 8625. Our friendly team of specialists is always on hand from our base in Greater Manchester, to travel across the UK and help treat and dispose of invasive plants like Japanese Knotweed, and Giant Hogweed, without causing any damage to the rest of your garden or land. We at Weedtec can visit your property for a survey, free of charge, and advise you on the best course of action to take, should we discover any invasive plants like Giant Hogweed, which would need to be removed as quickly as possible.