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Giant Hogweed, Heracleum mantegazzianum
Giant hogweed was introduced into Europe and North America from Asia in the early 1900's. It's impressive growth made it a desirable garden plant. However, giant hogweed soon escaped cultivation and established itself in natural areas in several states including Maine. Distribution of giant hogweed in Maine
A Hazardous Plant
Along with its impressive growth habit, giant hogweed is noteworthy because its sap causes severe skin irritation. When susceptible people come in contact with the sap and the skin is exposed to sunlight, painful blisters develop.
If you must handle this plant be careful not to come into contact with sap from broken stems. You should be well covered, wearing gloves, long sleeves and long pants.
When identifying giant hogweed, look for the following characteristics:
Several plants including cow parsnip, angelica and poison hemlock, look similar to giant hogweed. Pictures of giant hogweed and look-a-likes
More Information on Giant Hogweed
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