Giant hogweed is a perennial invasive plant native to southwest Asia. It is presumed to have been brought to North America for use as a garden ornamental. The sap from this invasive plant can react with sunlight to leave burns and blisters on skin that has come in direct contact with the sap. The serious human health impacts of this plant support the importance of responding to this invader quickly after initial identification.
Some widespread plants with similar features (e.g. Queen Anne’s lace, wild parsnip, etc.) are commonly misidentified as giant hogweed. For specific differences between giant hogweed and its lookalikes, please refer to the Giant Hogweed Best Management Practices document.
The Early Detection & Rapid Response (EDRR) Network Ontario project aims to train and equip volunteers with the skills and resources needed to better detect and reduce invasive species in Ontario, one community at a time.