Status of giant hogweed in Tasmania(Heracleum mantegazzianum)
- Giant hogweed is a declared weed in Tasmania under the Tasmanian Weed Management Act 1999. The importation, sale and distribution of giant hogweed are prohibited in Tasmania.
- The legal responsibilities of landholders and other stakeholders in dealing with giant hogweed are laid out in the Statutory Management Plan for Giant Hogweed.
What does giant hogweed look like?
hogweed is an erect perennial (long-lived) herb which is distinguished
by its size; the weed can grow to 3.5 metres when in flower, but can
sometimes reach 7 metres in height. The stems are stout, hollow, with
purple blotches. The leaves are large and deeply incised, resembling
rhubarb leaves, and may grow to more than a metre in breadth. The
undersides of the leaves are densely hairy. The flowers occur in broad,
flat topped flower heads, and produce large dry fruits. The roots are
tuberous and spreading and give rise to new buds each year.
hogweed produces the first flowering stalk in its third, fourth or
fifth year. After setting seed over summer, the plant dies in the
- Spread is by seed, and by buds formed on the
crown and tuberous roots. Seed is spread by moving water, birds, and via
the ornamental plant trade, dumping of garden waste and the spice
Image top right: Flowering stalk of Giant Hogweed, photo: Leslie J Mehrhoff.
Image above: Giant Hogweed, photo: Terry English.
Impacts of giant hogweed
- Giant hogweed
is a weed of natural areas including riparian (riverside) habitats,
roadsides and amenity areas. The weed is also toxic to humans and the
sap can cause severe photo-sensitivity of the skin.
Where does giant hogweed occur?
hogweed is a native of south west Asia and the Caucasus mountains. Giant
hogweed has not naturalised on mainland Australia.
- Giant hogweed has not naturalised in Tasmania. Giant hogweed has been recorded near Devonport in northern Tasmania, but appears to have been eradicated.
What you need to do
- If you locate giant
hogweed anywhere in Tasmania, or if you find a plant that you think
could be giant hogweed, immediately contact your Regional Weed
Management Officer on 1300 368 550 to report this weed.
Statutory Management Plan for Giant Hogweed
Weed Links and Resources
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