Common Name: Giant Hogweed
Scientific Name: Heracleum mantegazzianum Sommier & Levier
All above and below ground parts of the plant must be destroyed. Additionally, no transportation, propagation, or sale of this plant is allowed. Failure to comply may result in an enforcement action by the county or local municipality. Minnesota Noxious Weed Law.
Giant hogweed is a perennial plant native to the Caucasus region of Asia which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and part of Russia. It was originally introduced to the US as a novelty ornamental which escaped cultivation. Giant hogweed has not yet been discovered in Minnesota but is established in Wisconsin.
Giant hogweed can be found growing in yards, ditches, disturbed areas, pastures, open wooded areas, and along stream banks. It thrives in sunny locations and is also somewhat shade tolerant.
It spreads by seed that can be moved by wind, water, wildlife, and humans. Seeds can remain viable in the soil for up to 10 years. View giant hogweed distribution in Minnesota.
Giant hogweed is a serious public health hazard and can negatively impact soil dynamics, fisheries, and outcompete native plants. When giant hogweed displaces native riparian plants, stream bank erosion increases and streams can become overloaded with silt.
Contact with the sap and exposure to sunlight can produce painful, burning blisters that can leave scars. Sap coming into contact with the eyes can cause temporary or permanent blindness. Appropriate protective clothing including gloves, goggles and long sleeve shirts should be worn and contact with the stems should be avoided. If sap comes in contact with skin, avoid exposure to sunlight, immediately wash skin with soap and water, and seek medical attention.
MDA Noxious Weed Program
County Ag Inspectors