The plant typically grows to height of 2 – 5 metres and the stems are 2 – 8cm in diameter but may reach 10cm. The steams are marked with dark purplish blotches and the plant has numerous white flowers that form a flat-topped, umbrella-shaped head that can be up to 75cm across.
Giant Hogweed is one of a handful of plants that can cause a significant reaction. If the sap from a broken stem or crushed lead, root, flower or seed comes into contact with skin burn-like blisters will form within 48 hours. The painful blistering and severe skin irritation will worsen if exposed to sunlight.
What we do at CGM to protect ourselves when working with Giant Hogweed:
• Always ensure we are wearing PPE
• Avoid use of strimmers to prevent the sap from splattering
• Wash our equipment and clothing immediately following contact
• Use sun block