Is Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum, an invasive plant and what can be done with it?

Yes and it poses a serious threat to natural ecosystems and human health. The Giant Hogweed can reach an impressive height of 15 feet when flowering. The hollow stems are 2 to 4 inches in diameter. The large blossom consists of numerous white flowers clustered in an umbrella-shaped head that is more than 2 feet across. The sap found in the Giant Hogweed stem and stem hairs causes phytophotodermatitis, a serious skin inflammation activated by exposure to the sun. Symptoms typically consist of painful blisters that form within 48 hours of exposure, and pigmented scars that can last up to 6 years.

If you come in contact with this plant, you could experience severe burns to your skin.If you are exposed to Giant Hogweed:

  1. Wash affected areas immediately
  2. Keep the affected area out of the sun
  3. Seek medical advice for burns

To remove one of these plants from your own property:

  1. Wear protective clothing, including gloves, long sleeves, pants, and eye protection
  2. Immediately remove any flower heads to prevent seed growth and dispersal
  3. Sever the plant roots 8 to 12 centimetres below the soil surface
  4. Dispose of all plant parts in double-bagged garbage bags, and do not compost
  5. Return to plant site periodically to remove any new plant growth.

If you see this plant in White Rock parks, road rights of ways, or private lands, Please contact the Engineering and Municipal Operations Department 604-541-2181 with the plant location information. For more information on and photos of Giant Hogweed, see the Kings County, Washington State website.

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1. Can I book a City Park for a private function?
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5. Do I need a tree cutting permit to remove a tree from my property?
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11. What is the City's policy on the use of pesticides?
12. What environmental initiatives is the City's Parks department involved in?
13. Is Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum, an invasive plant and what can be done with it?