Giant hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum


Plants of the genus Heracleum are umbelliferous (Apiaceae) and very large. They can grow tall: more than three metres and even up to five metres in a lush location. In Finland, the most common species is giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), and Persian hogweed (Heracleum persicum) has also been found here. There are also some observations of Sosnowsky’s hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi), but the findings have not been verified. Alien Heracleum group plants have been imported as garden plants, and they are especially found in built-up areas, as well as on roadsides, wastelands and courtyards in sparsely populated areas, but also in nature, including beach groves.

Giant hogweed and Sosnowsky’s hogweed are biennial, or they die after flowering. Persian hogweed is perennial and can flower several times, but it is able to reproduce not earlier than the third year. Heracleum group species can only reproduce through seeds, and they can spread to new habitats with garden waste or soil contaminated with seeds. Their seeds generally germinate well and remain incubated in the soil for several years, which is why new populations may come as a surprise.

Source: FinBIF species descriptions
Description text authors:

Terhi Ryttäri, SYKE – updated 4.4.2016.

Luke 2023.

CC BY 4.0

The map represents observations of this taxon, but it may not be used as a distribution map. A total of

observations in Finland?

FinBIF master checklist
Scientific name
Heracleum mantegazzianum
Sommier & Levier
Vernacular names
  • kaukasianjättiputki (Finnish)
  • jätteloka (Swedish)
  • giant hogweed (English)
Taxon rank
Occurrence in Finland
Collected from Finland
Status in Finland
  • TNV - alien, new, resident
  • 3 - spreading in the wild; completely of cultivated origin
This species is invasive
Regulatory Status
  • Government Decree on Invasive Alien Species of National Concern (1725/2015) ?
  • Invasive alien species of Union concern (EU 2016/1141; 2017/1263; 2019/1262; 2022/1203) ?
  • Finland’s National Strategy on Invasive Alien Species (GR 2012) ?
Finnish Regional Red List Category
  • 2019 NA – Not Applicable
  • 2010 NA – Not Applicable
  • Mikko Piirainen
DNA barcode sequences
Heracleum mantegazzianum
7 public records
Informal groups
  • Vascular plants