Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) contains toxic sap that can cause severe burns.

giant hogweed plant

At 20ft tall with dinner table sized leaves Giant Hogweed is an impressive plant that was once planted in gardens.  However, it is highly invasive and has spread throughout the whole of Great Britain, primarily favouring river banks but also other areas such as parks, cementries and wasteland.

The sap of Giant Hogweed contains toxic chemicals known as furanocoumarins.  When these come into contact with the skin, and in the presence of sunlight, they cause a condition called phyto-photodermatitis: a reddening of the skin, often followed by severe burns and blistering.  The burns can last for several months and even once they have died down the skin can remain sensitive to light for many years.

If you suspect you have Giant Hogweed on your property, call Weedtec on 0845 224 9941.