Hogweed

Heracleum sphondylium

profile icon20150626Heracleum sphondylium1
by AnRo0002 (CC0)
1 of 8
A close up of some white Heracleum sphondylium flowers on an umbel
profile icon20150626Heracleum sphondylium1
by AnRo0002 (CC0)
1 of 8
Heracleum sphondylium is a robust perennial that grows freely in rough grassland habitats such as roadside verges, meadows, riverbanks and woods. This plant is in the top 10 nectar providers for pollinating insects. It's greenish white flowers appear in summer and give out a characteristic pig-like smell, hence the common name hogweed. Easily confused with the related species Heracleum mantegazzianum or giant hogweed, these plants grow to notably different sizes, but are tricky to distinguish. Plant size is the best identifier, the leaf shape also differs slightly between these species. For this plant, hogweed, the leaves are generally arranged in a flat, single plane and in giant hogweed, the leaves are more textured, pointed and in a more three-dimensional arrangement. This species is part of the Royal Horticultural Society “Plants for Pollinators” initiative to showcase plants which support pollinator populations by providing ample amounts of nectar and/ or pollen. A great choice for encouraging pollinating insect wildlife into your garden!
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Generally not harvested

Special features

Attracts useful insects

Attractive flowers

Special features

Origin

Eurasian

Environment

Light

Full Sun, Partial Shade, Partial Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Chalk, Clay, Gravel, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral, Alkaline

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Notes

Suits larger wildlife friendly gardens or meadows.

Personality

Family

Apiaceae

Flower colour

Green, White

Scent

None
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Knowledge and advice

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