Giant hogweed is found in Canada since the 90s and has been a problem in several areas. Its identification and elimination is important because this plant spreads quickly and its sap can cause serious burns when in contact with skin.
How to identify
- Giant hogweed is between 2 and 5 meters high.
- The stems have purple spots.
- Its bouquets (umbels) are large, between 20 and 50 cm in diameter and have many white flowers that distinguishes it from the wild parsnip.
- The leaves are between 20cm and 50cm in diameter and are deeply cut.
- Wetlands (ditches, streams and near various rivers , on roadsides etc.)
- Vacant land (fields).
- Giant hogweed spreads rapidly when introduced into an environment.
- Each plant can produce 20,000 seeds and some even up to 100,000!
- This invasive plant is a threat to native plants and affects the diversity of flora in the given region.
Response to exposure
The sap of giant hogweed can cause severe skin reactions called phytophotodermatitis.
What to do in case of skin contact
It is advisable to clean the wound with water and mild soap and prevent sun exposure to the affected skin and consult a doctor.
Do not hesitate to contact your cities public health department if you think you have been affected by the sap of giant hogweed.
What if I think I have giant hogweed on my property?
First, it is important to protect youself from contact with the sap. The skin and eyes must be carefully covered before attempting anything.
Clothes and tools should be cleaned afterwards with special care, it is advisable to wash clothes separately, and keep separate before washing to avoid contamination.
For more information, please consult the Ministry of Sustainable Development Environment, Wildlife and Parks : Management and control of giant hogweed.