Giant hogweed

Heracleum mantegazzianum

Range: Well established in Vancouver, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, also found on Vancouver Island.  Native to Asia.

Description: Biennial to perennial. Stem (1.5) 2-4.5 m tall, hollow, up to 10 cm in diameter, usually with purple blotchesLeaves up to 3 m long, blade to 2.6 cm wide, ternately or pinnately divided, lateral segments pinnately lobed, short-hairy belowInflorescence (larger ones) 20-50 cm in diameter, rays 50-150. Petals white or rarely pinkish.

Ecology:  Habitat wet to moist disturbed areas in the lowlands, garden escapee.

Notes: Invasive species.  This species can cause severe dermititis and should not be touched with bare hands.  Giant hogweed can be confused with the native cow parsnip (H. maximum) earlier in the season.

Sources:  

  • Eflora
  • Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon.  1994.  Plants of coastal British Columbia: including Washington, Oregon & Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing. Vancouver. 528 p.

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Wetlandkeepers is a 2½ day introduction to wetland identification and stewardship. The course offers individuals an opportunity for hands-on practice of wetland conservation skills, such as conducting wetland, plant and bird surveys, wetland mapping and raising public awareness. It is a fun, and often muddy weekend, for all ages. Participants that successfully complete the course are awarded a Wetlandkeepers Certificate.