Beaked Parsley, Hedge Parsley, Cow parsnip, Cow parsley and Wild carrot, Giant Hogweed


Hazard Information

Route: Skin     Plant Part: Sap

Scale: Low

Causes reddening, stinging, fluid filled blisters occurring within 24 hours of contact.




Common Name(s)

Giant Hogweed

Latin Name



A large plant that can grow up to 3 metres (10 feet ) tall, the stems are ridged and hollow with purple spots. The lower leaves can be 1 metre  ( 3 feet ) long, whilst the flower heads can be very large and are made of small groups of tiny flowers. Cow parsnip, cow parsley and wild carrot and beaked parsley (both non-poisonous) are from the same family but vary in size.


Skin irritant and poisonous.


Can cause injury to the skin and sun exposure after contact with the sap of this plant can result in reddening, stinging and fluid filled blisters which usually occur within 24 hours of contact. The hollow stems are an attraction to children for use as a "pea shooter".

Flowering Period

May to September.


Roadsides, railway embankments, riversides, hedges and fields.

Further Information/ Links