Giant Hogweed is a large invasive perennial plant that has been found to grow in limited areas in New Brunswick. It is recognizable by its’ size and distinctive features. Giant Hogweed reaches a height of 1.5 to 5 metres tall. It has a thick hollow stem that is very hairy and bristly with purplish colored spots or blotches. When fully grown, its leaves can be up to 1.5 metres wide and 3 metres long with numerous white flowers that are clustered in an umbrella shape.
Giant hogweed is a public health hazard because it can be harmful to people and pets if they are in contact with it. It’s clear watery sap has toxins that, after exposure to sunlight, can cause skin inflammation, burns and a rash (photodermatitis). In serious circumstances, if the sap comes in contact with the eye, it can cause temporary blindness.
There are many plants that are similar in appearance to Giant Hogweed but do not have the same level of health risk as they produce less chemicals. For more information including how to recognize, remove and report Giant Hogweed see below.