March 16th, 2012

Latin:  Heracleum sphondylium

Irish:  Feabhrán


Hogweed is a large (1-1.5m high) perennial native plant that flowers in late May-June.  It is abundant in hedges and waste places and can be found in many parts of the course.

It produces sprays of white flowers in a structure that resembles an umbrella –it’s not surprising, therefore, that it comes from the Umbelliferae family.


Although there are clear anatomical differences, Hogweed can be mistaken for other Umbelliferous plants that grow on the course.

The flowers of Hogweed are very similar to those of Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) but the leaves are distinctly different. The leaves of Hogweed are have large lobes while the leaves of Cow Parsley are finely divided with an almost lace-like appearance.


This Umbelliferae family contains some very poisonous and deadly species so special care is advised when collecting or using any of them. Hogweed is not particularly dangerous but it is very similar to Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum). This huge plant (up to 6m) has a photosensitive juice which will cause burning to the skin and mouth if exposed to light and can result in permanent sensitivity to sunlight.

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