Giant hogweed

What does it look like?

Giant hogweed can grow up to five metres tall, often along footpaths and riverbanks.

 Why is it dangerous?

If the sap of the plant comes into contact with your skin, it can cause severe, painful burns and make your skin sensitive to strong sunlight.

How can I avoid it?

Learn to recognise the plant and avoid touching it. Never pick wild flowers or plants in the countryside.

What to do if it burns me?

If you touch a giant hogweed,

  • Wash the area with soap and water. Use disinfectant wipes immediately and wash later if you are a long way from a source of water.
  • Your skin will develop blisters. Cover the affected area so it is not exposed to the light. The blisters heal very slowly and can develop into phytophotodermatitis, a type of skin rash which flares up in sunlight.
  • If you feel unwell after contact with giant hogweed, speak to your doctor.

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