Be aware of Giant hogweed and avoid contact

Date published: 31 July 2019

Be aware of Giant hogweed and avoid contact with it, as it can cause blistering and swelling on the skin. The plant is usually found growing in areas of damp soils, such as river banks.

Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed

Giant hogweed grows up to between three and five metres high, which is what helps identify it as it looks similar to hogweed and cow parsley.

You should report any sightings of the plant.

Giant hogweed contains a sap which irritates skin when it is exposed to sunlight.

Symptoms are usually noticeable within 24 hours and include blistering and swelling on the skin, which may be made worse by over-exposure to the sun.

What to do

If you come into contact with Giant hogweed:

  • cover the affected skin immediately to avoid exposure to the sun
  • wash the skin with cold water

If there is blistering or the contact was with the eyes, you should seek medical advice.

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