Characteristically large, the non-native plant giant hogweed is an umbellifer (member of the cow-parsley family), with flowering stems typically 2 to 3 metres high, reaching an impressive 5 metres in some instances, its basal leaves often 1 metre or more in size. As a result of its sheer size, this plant shades out many other native plant species. Giant hogweed is a toxic plant with poisonous sap, which can cause serve blistering if touched.
Giant hogweed is a non-native plant which out-competes native plant species, preventing them from growing. Under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 it is an offence to “plant or otherwise cause giant hogweed to grow” in the wild.