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Common Hogweed

Heracleum sphondylium

Plant Data

Order:
Apiales
Family:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Large white umbels to 20cm across, no lower bracts. Sometimes pink, less often purple and rarely greenish-white.
Fruit:
A dark streaked, heart-shaped, flattened, oval wing called a schizocarp (a type of dry fruit that splits open upon ripening).
Leaves:
Alternate, compound leaves. 1 to 3 pinnate with very broad toothed leaflets.
Maximum Size:
2 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
The leaves are edible. The stems and young shoots are edible, raw or cooked. The root is edible when cooked and is usually boiled. Its taste is unique and is like nothing else. It's important to make sure you do not mistake this plant for the very poisonous and quite similar-looking Giant Hogweed.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Aroma:
Hogweed is named after the unpleasant smell of its flowers. The flowers are said to smell like pigs and is the reason why they attract so many flies.
Other Names:
Cow Parsnip, Eltrot, Keck, Limberscrimps.
Habitats:
Ditches, farmland, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, woodland.