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Common Hogweed

Heracleum sphondylium

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.

Plant Data

Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Order:
Apiales
Family:
Apiaceae (Carrot)
Type:
Flower
Maximum Size:
2 metres tall
Habitats:
Ditches, farmland, grassland, hedgerows, meadows, riverbanks, roadsides, woodland.

Flower:
֍
White, 5 petals
 
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.
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.
Frequency (UK):
Abundant  
Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map