Recognize and eliminate giant hogweed
Giant Hogweed is an invasive and exotic plant toxic. It presents a risk to health and the environment.
In humans, contact with the sap of giant hogweed, combined with exposure to light (natural or artificial ultraviolet light) causes damage to the skin. These lesions are similar to burns. Furthermore, when this plant grows in a medium, it spreads rapidly and affects the growth of other plants that are already growing.
Presence of giant hogweed
Giant hogweed has appeared in Quebec in 1990. To date, it has been observed in several areas:
Giant hogweed grows in moist and cool backgrounds, such as:
Recognize giant hogweed
It is important to know how to identify giant hogweed to avoid possible contact with this plant. Giant hogweed has the following features:
Source: DSP Capitale-Nationale
Dimensions of the plant adults:
Underside of leaves:
Distinguish giant hogweed and cow parsnip, or large rocks
It is important not to confuse giant hogweed with cow parsnip.
The cow parsnip, also called large rocks, much like the giant hogweed. However, cow parsnip is not invasive. It poses no risk to the environment.
Source: MAPAQ. Click on images to enlarge.
Recognize the damage caused by the giant hogweed
The sap of the hogweed contains toxic substances that are activated by the sun’s rays and also by the artificial UV rays. Exposure to light causes inflammation of the skin that came into contact with the sap of giant hogweed. This inflammation is characterized by:
To know the steps to take if your skin has come in contact with the sap of this plant, see Treatments section of the page Burns from giant hogweed.
Eliminate the giant hogweed
Given the harmful effects of giant hogweed on the environment and health, it is very important to prevent the plant from spreading.
So avoid the sow, to plant, to multiply or transported.
Before taking measures against giant hogweed, however, you must take care:
If you must handle giant hogweed, protect yourself properly:
Fight against giant hogweed
Call HealthLink 811:
Contact your municipality or the Ministry of Environment and the Fight against Climate Change at 1 800 561-1616: