fly fishing sport fishing freshwater fishing
Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


08/05/2024 - Giant Hogweed


Please be aware of Giant Hogweed Produced by Olaf Booy, Max Wade and Vicky White of RPS Up to 5m Up to 3m Sharply divided / serrated leaves Bristles on underside Blotchy or rarely continuous purple Stems usually with sharp bristles Stem 5-10cm diameter Up to 80cm Flower white or rarely pinkish Umbrella shaped flower Seeds have dark stripes (oil ducts) 2 on one side, 4 on the reverse 1.5 cm Scientific name: Heracleum mantegazzianum AKA: Efwr enfawr (Welsh) Native to: Caucasus mountains in south west Russia and Georgia Habitat: Widespread, most common on river banks Easy to identify when fully grown by height, size of leaves and size of flowers. Can be confused with native hogweed when not fully grown or when growth is stunted (e.g. regrowth after cutting). Introduced as an ornamental.


First recorded wild in the UK in the late 19th century. Spreads solely by seeds, mainly through deliberate plant[1]ing, wind dispersal and in water courses. Now common across much of the UK. Contact with any part of this plant must be avoided as even minute amounts of sap can cause blistering of the skin following expo[1]sure to sunlight. Other negative impacts include out-competing native flora, river bank erosion and increase in flood risk. Can cause delays/ additional costs on development sites where the plant must be removed as controlled waste in order to comply with legislation. Giant hogweed is listed under Schedule 9 to the Wildlife and Country[1]side Act 1981 with respect to England, Wales and Scotland. As such it is an offence to plant or otherwise cause this species to grow in the wild. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, giant hogweed is also classified as controlled waste. For details of legislation go to

Back to the News List

Martin James Fishing
Email: [email protected]