Forest Pests – Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum Somm. & Lev
Leaves: Leaf blades of rosette leaves very large, up to 1m (40in.) across. Compound leaves with 3 large deeply cut leaflets, each leaflet with deep irregular lobes and coarse, sharp teeth on all margins; their petioles (stalk that joins the leaf to the stem) often have sharp-pointed bumps similar to those on the flowering stems; leaves on the flowering stem are of similar shape but smaller, the upper ones often not divided but just deeply 3-lobed.
Flowers & Fruit: white or rarely pinkish in colour, appear in mid-june and are clustered in an umbel shaped head and can measure up to 120cm (4ft) across. Umbels are an umbrella shaped cluster of short-stalked flowers, typical of the carrot family. Each compound umbel consist of many (approximately 30 to 50) branches, each branch ending in a simple umbel with approximately 30 to 40 flowers
Caution: It has been implicated as a cause of severe dermatitis in a few susceptible individuals.
Further information on the Giant Hogweed can be found in the links below:
Giant Hogweed (Fact Sheet)