Common Hogweed is a
perennial plant of the UK, typically found growing in grassland, roadsides and waste ground, to a mature height of up to 200cm.
Common Hogweed is said to take its name from its use as pig fodder and the unpleasant smell of its flowers. The plant is sometimes mistaken for Giant Hogweed, its toxic, non-native and invasive relative. The distinguishing features for Common Hogweed include: a shorter maximum height, of up to about 2 metres (as opposed to 5 metres); hairy stems, with purple areas but lacking purple blotches; and leaves with wide undulating lobes (as opposed to very large leaves, deeply-divided, with jagged and coarsely-toothed lobes).
Botanic classification and naming: Common Hogweed is a member of the Carrot (Apiaceae) family. The genus name
'Heracleum' identifies the plant as a Hogweed and its species name 'sphondylium' means 'vertebrate (stem)'.
Concerns: Irritant on skin contact.
Benefits: Common Hogweed produces large volumes of nectar which attract bees and hoverflies for pollination.
Benefits to wildlife are also indicated with orange icons in the plant profile bar at the top.