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Giant Hogweed

This plant knows how to protect itself, so please do not touch or attempt to damage it, because it causes very severe skin irritation, seek advice before removing it.

 

Saying that, this plant grows up to 15ft tall and is very impressive. It was imported from Asia as a garden plant because of its wow factor. Unfortunately the plant has the ability to send thousands of seeds every where and now is found in many other places besides the garden particularly along river banks. Its official name is Heracleum mantegazzianum and is a member of the parsley or carrot family, but obviously not recommended for the dinner table.

 

This particular specimen is about 10ft tall, in full flower in late June and was found on the banks of the River Irwell in Manchester, England.  It reminds me of the plants in the book The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, that tried to take over the world !

Click images to get the bigger picture

Global Hogweed Map

Submit a location in the comment box if you have seen Giant Hogweed or had dealings with it, and we will put it on our map below plus any information you would like to tell us.

A great response, sightings, locations, photos or information please keep sending them in.

Photos of Giant Hogweed near Perth, Scotland, 5th July 2011

Great set of Photos sent in by Jake

Click on thumbnails to see the greater picture

I took these pictures last week near our home in Quebec. I think they are Hogweed. They are so large they attracted my attention. Freda GordonHogweed plant found in Quebec Canada

 

Hogweed  - 1

Hello…we are in our third year of a relentless battle with this plant at this site. 

Hogweed  - 2

I work for the City of Abbotsford, BC, Canada, and am now finding that this plant, even with our due diligence, is continuing to spread.  Hogweed  - 3

Pictures of Giant Hogweed

If you have a nice photo of Hogweed in your area attach it to this Email, tell us a little about it and we'll show it here.

Star comments

The giant hogweed or Triffid is on the march. Glasgow is being colonised as we speak. One of them appeared about three years ago beside the railway line at the back of the coup next to Roston Road. There are dozens of them now. I think they look very impressive and majestic. They are definitely a plant that is a born survivor and can drop thousands of dry, windblown seeds every year. Very good for lifting slabs and demolishing gardens. Its a shame they're so nasty, because I love them...they are my friends and I talk to them every day. Pity....but they have to be annihilated. Anon

Is this the same plant used in florists called "Queen Annes Lace"?
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Anne%27s_Lace

Probable answer : Queen Anne's Lace is a member of the carrot/parsley family. It can be easily confused with hogweed and other poisonous plants, so unless you know your plants it's perhaps best alone.

Seen in Bala Ontario and people have marked it  Anon
Hatton Of Fintray, near Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. In the same place every year. Anon
I've been walking along the River Almond where it enters the Tay North of Perth for the past 33 years, and never saw any Giant Hogweed. Last year, I thought the normal hogweed was taller than usual, and this year we very definitely have an infestation of them at map reference 56.423132,-3.464196, easily identified by the deep purple stems. They're still at the growing stage (5th July) and it's a shame they're such a pest because they're really impressive plants. Like someone above, I also think of triffids when I see them. The area is overwhelmed with another invader, Himalayan Balsam, which has covered several acres of woodland on the North side of the Almond, drowning out most other species. Anon
Giant Hogweed is a major problem along our rivers here in Ayrshire. Fortunately Ayrshire Rivers Trust have been dealing with this plant for some time and leading the way towards eradication in the long-term. see http://www.ayrshireriverstrust.org/invasive-weeds.htm for details of the scale of the problem and their strategy Anon
My backyard is infested. My children are no longer allowed to play in my huge backyard, and the town is not willing to help me remove it. Not impressed. My son was hospitalized last year because of the severity of his burns, and still has loss of feeling on his hand and arm. I have put sooo much time and $ into trying to rid my yard, but nothing seems to be working. Anon
I think i got the hog weed from my dog who wondered around at someone's cottage. I am still suffering after 4 weeks, 3 of them on predizone. It looks like it is gone but it comes back if I am hot at night. I have the rash in the strangest places, like at the back of my neck, under my armpits, inside my thighs, if feels now that my skin is very tight and tender. putting cream on does not do a thing. Have to see the doctor again on this. I am the only patient in the practice who has this. Louise
This stuff is horrible, I have just discovered its the reason for the yellow scabs and blisters on my 5 ponies mouths, we live in Barrhead, Scotland. There is a big patch of it at the back of one of the fields they graze in but I didn't realise what it was as we only moved into the house and fields at the end of September last year. After reading all your comments I am quite scared for my ponies now and how I am going to get rid of it. Christine
Giant Hogweed is in the ditches southeast of Ottawa, Ontario and on damp land on a friend's farm there (Iinkerman) positively identified by the burns and black scarring on his skin! I agree there is much confusion amongst this family of plants - a yellow flower would probably be Wild Parsnip (pasticum sativa) smaller plants WITHOUT purple tingeing on the stalks are not Giant Hogweed but Cow Parsnip or the others in the family mentioned above. Poison hemlock also has a purple spotted stem, so let that be the warning sign (and the size!). Anon
GiantHogweed.pdf - Here is some useful information on this infamous plant.
Flambro Head which is between Caplin Cove and Lower Island Cove in Conception Bay North Anon
Growing in Beachville, Ontario, Canada near King Stm, along Oxford Road. Anon
Giant Hogweed located on Mane/New Brunswick border July 15,2010 Anon
I live in Swan River Manitoba which is northwest of Winnipeg about 350 miles. I live along the river bank & I have TONS of these gawdawfull weeds in my treed back yard. The only thing that we found gets rid of them is herbicides like Weedex...but takes years to get rid of by spraying them every year. We're down to just a few now. Anon
Hogweed in East Haven, CT ... quite certain. I've had rashes both last year and this. Big red blisters, leaves scarring and takes a good month to go away. Anon
http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2010-07-13/article-1562198/Potentially-blinding-plant-spreading-in-Nova-Scotia/1 anon
I am quite sure that we have giant hogweed on our property in rural Alberta just outside Edmonton. All characteristics seem to fit. Anon
Bala - Lots around....LOOK OUT!!!! (North Wales) Anon
Giant hogweed is now found along the Grand Concourse in St. John's Newfoundland. Anon
Found alot of them in Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark. Anon
Very Funny comment!!! @ Anon...quoting 'they are invincible, they are impervious to all our herbicidal batterings...why, that's Genesis!!! lol...very good!...I never knew until yesterday, that that song was about a real plant...now I know! And, I mentioned that on the globe and mail forum...LaynaLand, Vancouver, Canada.
It's here in northeast Pennsylvania. I'm a landscaper and we had to clear out a big field of hogweed. they looked like dill and have yellow tops. i have burn spots on my hands, abdomen, chest and neck. it itches now, but DO NOT pop the blisters. its burns and stings and leaves a nasty scar that lasts for awhile. wish i knew more about how to treat it. Anon
Giant Hogweed plant found along Nith River in Ayr, Ontario, Canada. Stalk was 3" thick and plant was about 8' tall before we eradicated it. It grew so quickly, but I was not aware of it's high seed count until today. Will definitely spray pesticide on the growing area after clearing out more dirt. Anon
I've seen it popping up in Halifax, Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada ... particularly in vacant lots and along roadsides in the area of Purcell's Cove, near the mouth of Halifax Harbour. For the past four years or so, I have watched it spreading rapidly and always wondered what it was - many thanks for the info and the warnings! Marla C
Several plants on Elgin hiking trail both north and south of fish hatchery road in Port Stanley Ontario. Anon
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2010/07/08/ottawa-giant-hogweed-poisonous-blindness.html There here!!!
how do they manage the plant in the country where it originates? Anon
Giant Hogweed plants were discovered in Kake, Alaska. Now have to find out how to get rid of them! Anon
found in chelsea nova scotia new elm road Anon
Seen a great hogweed colony on the banks of the clanrye river newry, co. down right in the centre of town. Anon
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seen several in the barnsley south yorkshire area around burton road, there is one in a residential garden on burton road, they must be mad to leave that in the front garden its a monstrosity. Anon
in the cemetery, hull we have LOADS of hogweed! Because children go through it i wish we could remove it! Anon
Plenty of it in Bridge of allan, stirling! Anon
A patch of giant hogweed spotted in a field in Clifton near Otley. Anon
as a rtd journalist my comment is: the public, including riverbank fishermen - are totally unaware of the dangers of this "burning" plant, nor do Local Authorities, Local Governments and Councils give a thought to this weed. Anon
Atlanta BeltLine Track GA USA Anon
March 20, 2010 we where on a farm on Perth Line 26 in Fullarton Township Perth West. And we spotted quite a bit of giant hogweed loaded with seeds. The people living there now are aware that it is on the property, Anon
It is also in Yates county (New York State) Anon
There is a good growth of giant hogweed on the banking of PollocKshaws West Railway station in Glasgow Anon
In Iowa I made a mistake of trying to get rid of seed heads with a machete. I should have used round up. My arm and legs have a horrible itchy rash. My plants seem much like your hogweed but the seed heads are yellow-green and resemble giant dills. The leaves and hollow stems are like your description. I would like to eliminate this pest from my prairie. I will never play wack a weed again. I wonder if they have another name here in America? Anon
We have had Giant Hogweed along the banks of the River Tees in North Yorkshire/County Durham for years. Recently found it in my orchard. Have tried digging it up, chopping it at ground level, then putting weed killer on it several times (each subsequent application getting stronger and stronger), but nothing seems to shift it. Having said that the fully grown ones are a magnificent sight, 12 foot tall and hollow stems 6 inches across. The flowers are beautiful as well. Just a pity they are so nasty to touch. Any tips on how to get rid would be appreciated as all I seem to read is anecdotes on trying to get rid of it, not if anybody actually did! Jan
seen it by the Manchester ship canal near Hollins Green England. Lat 53°23'49.52"N Long 2°28'42.77"W Anon
I have an infestation at the bottom of the garden, which I am gradually digging up, now that the plants are small in Spring. I dig deep and remove the big heart, but it is hard work and I suspect that the side roots re-grow. What I have observed, however, is that the roots are an absolute haven for the common earth worm, with every root harbouring at least two or three worms. So they do have a good purpose in life. Any comments? KM
This nuisance grows all along the E4 highway in southern Poland. Please stay away from this plant! Anon
Giant hogweed is fine as long as you don't touch! Just like stinging nettles. Look but do not touch ! Anon

Pictures of Giant Hogweed

If you have a nice photo of Hogweed in your area attach it to this Email, tell us a little about it and we'll show it here.

Jordan RIver, and French creek are both infested with it , also along highway 18 on the way out to Lake Cowichan. British Columbia Anon
We found warnings about this plant in Switzerland near VILLARS Anon
If this developed in Asia...how do they manage it? Anon
I live in Salisbury, UK. Got it in my garden, didn't know what it was, so pulled it up. Result was arms covered in huge blisters, even a year later still sensitive to sunlight. Luckily, I was wearing gloves, since burnt in my stove. Anon
Bath NY, Jasper NY, Addison NY, Rathbone NY, Cameron NY all have this plant - Anon
Just found near West Washington Road, Cedar Lake, Kiel, Wisconsin - anon
Giant Hogweed is a plant which has very little publicity or control advice available considering its potential danger and now widespread grow. Anyone who has tried contacting 'Local Authorities' as per instructions will quickly find that the response is 'its not our problem'- contact the County-District-Parish-Highways-Environment-Waterways etc, as no-one wants to take responsibility. Hogweed is growing in abundance along the A43 near Brackley, Northants and being a major trunk road the seeds are spreading outwards. Many areas like Slough, Heathrow, Norfolk, Kent, Cornwall are reporting growth of this plants, so is it not time that the Environment Agency formulated a plan for its eradication to avoid the problems of the mid 1970's. Trevor
Hi, I'm from Germany. We have many giant hogweed plants here. Of course the government fights them, but they appear especially in areas where people are not around frequently - Anon
found just north of Lucan, Ontario, Canada, along highway 4 - Anon
Have definitely seen a number of Giant Hogweed plants growing by the railway line beside Rutherglen station in Glasgow, just where the line crosses over the River Clyde. The plants are everywhere and growing to a fair old height, right along the river banks there. DH, Scotland
There are specimens on the Irwell now reaching over 20ft tall. Between Ringley and Clifton - Anon
Giant hogweed grows in many places along the grand river above Fergus Ontario. Abundant near the 13th line by steel bridge crossing the grand. Concerned.- Anon

Ecology and Management of Giant Hogweed (Heracleum Mantegazzianum) available from Amazon.co.uk

"This book, the output of a three-year EU project involving 40 European experts, is an authoritative compendium of current knowledge on this amazing invasive plant and will facilitate improved management."

 

More books from Amazon.co.uk

On private property bordering public footpath Toronto, Ontario, Canada. - Anon
I have a springer spaniel dog and brother that were severely burnt with giant hogweed. it is a very dangerous plant.  - Anon
My Father lives in Lewis County NY and asked about this plant. He said its growing all over between Port Leyden and Old Forge along the banks of the Moose River. When I informed him of the toxicity and the dangers of this plant he was wondering why the County has not sprayed the area to eradicate this harmful plant. I have to agree but like everything else...no pro-activity. It will take an innocent young child to end up in the hospital before any action is taken. - Anon
Much discussion as to what this plant was. Found out all the info today, July 21. Saw it growing in two ditches outside Alliston, Ontario. Went to take a picture today, it was gone from ditch. Don't know who removed it. Never saw it before around the Alliston area. - Anon
Found on private property next to a public park in Gravenhurst Ontario Canada - Anon
I think you may be able to see the triffids from space in this shot outside Edinburgh Park in Scotland. Google map location here  - Anon
loads of giant hog weed in the north east of Scotland. Trying to control it is difficult. - Anon
We have this giant hogweed here in upstate New York. I live in Brockport and have it on our road for the first time. Been reading up on it and it sounds to be a very nasty plant. Our county will be come out to spray them. Sharon
MY WEE BOY IS 8 AND HAS 40% OF HIS BODY IS COVERED IN BLISTERS FROM THIS PLANT... NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT IN MY LIFE... STAY CLEAR OF IT - Anon
Spotted several plants along the Urr River between Dalbeattie and Palnackie in Kirkcudbrightshire Scotland July 6th 2009 - Anon
Lots of giant Hogweed next to river Annick in Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland. Appeared 2 years ago (ish) and spreading rapidly - Anon
Lots of Giant Hogweed along the banks of the mouth of the river Shannon in Ireland. Along the Limerick part of the river there are attempts made to control it, but on the Clare side it is allowed grow rampant and the seeds drift back across to Limerick. - Anon
My daughter last weekend got severe burning on the top of her foot from Giant Hogweed, we live on the banks of the Deveron in Aberdeenshire. We are still treating her burns now and the healing is very slow. - Anon
COLERIDGE ROAD, SHEFFIELD. NEXT TO CANAL BRIDGE AND FOOTBRIDGE OVER COLERIDGE ROAD. - Anon
Pretty sure I have just seen a patch of this plant (10 ft + in height) in Shipton Moyne Glos. - Anon
We have giant hog weed in our flower garden on Manitoulin island, Ontario, We dug them up right down to the roots ( with gloves ) placed in a garbage bag & they died .throw bag in garbage, This works ! - Anon

 

In the UK you have to be very careful how you dispose of invasive weeds.

http://www.netregs.gov.uk/netregs/63115.aspx

Seen on River Cart at field at Moulin Circus GLASGOW. A few children have already been burnt by it. - Anon
Seen in Ockley, Surrey approximately 13 feet! Amazing! - Anon
Standon Ford, Standon, Hertfordshire. June 2009 - Anon
Stevenage - Anon
my 5 yr old son has been off school all week due to this horrible plant his hands where covered in enormous blisters and we are lucky he didn't put it in his mouth - Anon
Just found one in my garden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very worried. Moving house, any interest? - Anon
I live in Woodstock, Ontario and I have what I believe to be Giant Hogweed in our backyard. From all the research I've been able to do online with descriptions and pictures, it seems like I do have this horrid weed that just won't go away! And now with Ontario's ban on pesticides and what not, I'm not sure how we're going to deal with it.. - Anon
I recently bought a house in Trepassey Newfoundland Canada where the entire area seems to be over taken with Giant Hogweed. Not knowing what it was I tried hauling them out of the ground causing myself and my friend some nasty stings. The plants covering my property were about 8 feet tall last summer and by the fall were dying and covered in some sort of worms. I went out there today and decided to try to clear them out before they started growing this year. I got to a giant portion of the root about 5 inches underground but then portions of the root branches off in various directions. I only got through 3 plants before giving up for now. - Anon
In the middle of a yard clearance in central Edinburgh, Scotland and unfortunately have an infestation of the stuff to deal with... glyphosate seems to be the best answer and patience. - Anon
I live in Kearsley near Bolton, England and have just been for a walk on the Irwell where I grew up and was amazed at the amount of hogweeds. would go as far as to say hundreds - Anon
We have been working on the island of Fyn in Denmark, putting roundup on millions of them - Anon
getting burnt by it is horrible - Anon
I have found hogweed by my house in Elma new york and i've also seen it out by my grandparents in franklinville new york - Anon
My Job is dealing with invasive weeds. i am currently tackling Giant hogweed and it is possible. It just needs very careful monitoring making sure that all seeds are removed from the plant whenever they are seen as they can last as long as 15 years in the ground. keep killing it and it will end one day. - Anon
In Upstate NY, there was somewhat of an outbreak, which I heard of from persons around the Little Falls area. - Anon
Came across a swathe of Giant Hogweed whilst going looking for a cave on the south bank of the River Trent near Foremark in South Derbyshire. Gave up looking for the cave, and will return late winter! Just a little west of here - Anon
got stung at the weekend in my garden in Swansea South Wales- Anon
have found 4 plants in Ruabon, near Wrexham, Wales, UK. they are about 12 feet tall and the trunks are 3 to 4 inches across. was amazed at the size of them...in a good way at first, but sounds like i should let the local council know about them after reading this article ..so thanks to whoever maintains it. Dave
Fletcher's Creek in Brampton, Canada. - Anon
Yes, we here in Cumbria have a big problem with this weed and it's everywhere! I am always hacking it away but it starts to grow somewhere else, I hate the stuff, just wish my veg would grow just as good and fast!!! Eden Valley. Anon
We have Giant Hogweed here in Milton, Ontario. above Steeles in the farm areas. Find it in abundance along Esquesing (4th Line) and 5 Side Rd West of 4th Line. I haven't seen it south of that area (yet). I can't count how many people I have stopped from picking them to bring home. Anon
Found in Port Elgin by Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada Anon
There's reports of giant hogweed in various parks in Markham, Ontario, Canada. There is much concern about the safety of residents and raising awareness of the plant's toxicity, as well as educating municipal workers on how to remove it safely. Anon
There is quite a lot of Giant Hogweed along the banks of the River Tern at Market Drayton. UK It is in quite a dangerous position here because it's right next to a children's' play area and a picnic area used by young people. I see today someone has been cutting the stems of near the ground. (I wonder if that's children) A Barnett 27.6.08
I have come across giant hogweed all over Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada. It is really starting to be very noticeable along all damp roadways with ditches. We have been attacking it at a remote campsite we go to just north of Campbell River. How it got there we do not know. Probably seeds spread by logging trucks and recreational vehicles, etc. We met a lady who lives in Parksville who has low lying property along a river and she has been trying to get rid of it for many years. Please everyone, keep getting rid of it. Don't give up !!! Every plant we get rid of helps stop the spread and keeps another child out of danger.  Anon

Yes it grows in Dorset too in the Char Valley, though it did look bigger thank for the page very informative Anon

found in granville massachusetts usa Anon

I've just moved to Kent in the last 2 years and I found out the hard way this stuff made me ill with 2-5 inch blisters that burst after a few days. I was sick and could not leave the bath room this year it has come back with vengeance but I will get rid by digging it up and burning IT. I have been told if you cut it down to ground level bang a stick into the roots then pour diesel into the root this will get rid of it Anon

If you put diesel in the soil you may pollute it and it may get into the local water supply, your likely to get fined by the local water authority and kill loads of fish. Not a good idea at all. Please contact the local council on the best way of getting rid of it.

Hi Giant Hogweed is a dangerous plant and I have seen the aftermath of kids using the hollow stems as Pea Shooters These kids health will never be the same again There is Giant Hogweed everywhere in Scotland and the rest of the u.k It is the only plant in the u.k that if our local council are informed of this plant growing that they must eradicate it by law Sandy

They are invincible! They are impervious to all our herbicidal batterings! ;_; Anon
cheaking out sight because we are getting warnings that they are finding hogweed in our area I'm from Hector NY right out side of Watkins Glen sounds like some bad stuff to have around.
Nick  Very serious problem they are too !!
Merv  The last time I saw the plant (before emigrating to Australia) was along the banks of the River Tees at Yarm in the North Riding. News reports likened it to Triffids. :-)
Jenna   I was just reading my July Michigan Out-Of-Doors magazine and there is an article about Hogweed discovered growing near Ironwood in the Ottawa National Forest. Sounds like some nasty stuff! Nice pics!

Iris  It grows around here too. We also have poison hemlock. Iris, Central NY.

JimN    "Stamp them out, We must destroy them."  From "The Return of the Giant Hogweed" by Genesis.
SED   Here in Colorado we call it Cow parsnip. It grows wild up in the foothills, usually near a stream. They even have one of them growing in Denver Botanic Gardens as an ornamental.
PJ  Nice photos.  We have a lot of it down here in Cornwall.  There is a river one mile away next to a Garden Nursery and Plant Collection where the banks are heavily populated. It is, as you say, one mean plant and can well take care of itself.
EdwinH  I have seen some noble specimens next to the river Medway near Maidstone in Kent. Remember not to touch it. You will get a very nasty rash if you do. It is of course illegal to plant it now, like the Japanese Knotweed
I was walking by the Irwell today and saw LOTS of these. I had no idea what they were, but thanks to this page I do. There are lots there now, and they are HUGE! Anon
OZ  A large number of specimens around the 'Gleneagles' region of Scotland. Interesting connection with the G8 - invasive, dangerous life forms that seek to destroy our environment for their own benefit. Sounds like a working definition of contemporary capitalism. Anon
Here in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland) and there in Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) is also a lot of Giant Hogweeds as wild, too. The Giant Hogweed are dangerous for original nature in Scandinavia and Baltia. The Giant Hogweed bears even minus 20-30 Celsius degrees frosts every winter. Next summer the Giant Hogweed grows well, mur. >:-(

I got into hog weed it stunk!! Anon

On the North Circular, London, there are a few places along there where it can be seen. The two most notable are a few 100 m from the Hoover building (on both sides of the road) and behind a fence opposite Hoo-Hing oriental supermarket. Anon
i just got poison oak. i would hate to stumble into the evil hog weed. god help us all. - Anon
Plant found at St Bridgets Catholic Primary School, Warrington, Cheshire. Spores imported in top soil.- Anon
Giant Hogweed looks very outlandish and am very nervous about being near this plant. I have no idea what the tallest of all Hogweed has been recorded or how long it lives for? - Anon

We have these plants in our yard and we called the health Dept. Is there anything else to do.Anon

 

Take the advice of your health department and don't touch them, don't take a chain saw, axe, or use a strimmer as explained below as even the splinters of the plant will cause burning blisters. Ouch!

I was strimming a path and brush cutting blackthorn suckers in a wood colonised by giant hogweed. I have never been allergenic to anything, but the impact of the hogweed chips onto my arms - particularly at the inner elbow caused blisters and redness exacerbated by sunlight. Don't strim in short sleeves and wear a visor when there is hogweed about. Roger A, S Devon
I had to remove a plant today at work. I live in Nanaimo, BC, Canada Anon
Turn and run! Nothing can stop them. Anon

We have hogweed along every river bank in Ireland, although the government has tried to eradicate them, every spring they seem to come back, stronger and in larger groups Anon

There are many infestations of Giant Hogweed in the Forres area in Moray. People at the Findhorn Foundation have been recruited to try and eliminate it from the local bay but its a hard job. Its all over the place - one of the worst is actually on land owned by Moray Council! Anon

I started my war against Giant hogweed 1986 in Sweden. Anon

Its worth pointing out that this is NOT the same as cow parsnip. Don't get frantic people, those plants you see along every riverbank in the UK and US are probably not Giant Hogweeds (Heracleum Mantegazzianum) but more likely Common Hogweed (Heracleum Sphondylium) or Cow Parsnip (Heracleum Lanatum). Smaller, less scary. Anon


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