What does giant hogweed look like?
Giant hogweed looks like an enormous cow parsley. When it's fully grown, it can reach towering heights of between 1.5m to 5m and have a spread of between 1 and 2m. It forms a rosette of jagged, lobed leaves in the first year before sending up a flower spike in the second year and then setting seed.
Stems: green with purple blotches and stiff, white hairs. Stems are hollow with ridges and have a thick circle of hairs at base of each leaf stalk.
Leaves: huge, up to 1.5m wide and 3m long and is deeply divided into smaller leaflets. It looks a bit like a rhubarb leaf, with irregular and very sharp or jagged edges - which has given rise to one of its other common names - wild rhubarb.The underside of the leaf is hairy.
Flowers: appear in June and July. They are small and white (or slightly pink) and are clustered on umbrella-like heads known as umbels that can reach a diameter of 60cm. All the flowers on the umbel face upwards.
Seeds: dry, flattened, and oval. Almost 1cm long with tan with brown lines extending 3/4 of the seed length.