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Plant ID please

TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,194

Hello all you clever folksimage

Can anybody ID this plant which is growing through the leaves of hyacinth bulbs in my woodland border please?


There are currently 2 stems growing at 180 degrees to each other (only one in photo). Each stem is approx 14" long at the moment and the central rib has some dark reddish / brown colouration at the base and is a bit hairy. Each individual leaf is approx 4" long and 6"wide at the widest point.

I've also seen it growing along local footpaths.

If it is of ornamental or wildlife use (or won't become a nuisance) it can stayimage. If it needs to go I can dig it out now the ground has been softened by heavy rain.

Thank you.

Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,102

    Is there a groove along the upper face of the stem?  If so it's Common Hogweed 
    Heracleum sphodylium   Not a relative of the Giant Hogweed so not dangerous.  I used to pick armfuls for pet rabbits and goats.  Another name is Cow Parsnip.  It has a large creamy white umbelliferous flower like cow parsley on steroids which looks fabulous if left to dry for the winter frosts. 

    Last edited: 18 May 2017 11:43:03

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,865

    I did strim some of this when we looked after the churchyard and it stung my ankles and I came up in blisters. 

    I get it out if it's in the garden, the roots are very deep if it's left. Or am I not talking about the same weed? 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,194

    Thank you both

    Gold star Doveimage - it has got a groove along the upper face of the stem and a quick Google has confirmed it is Common Hogweed.

    I think I'll leave it for now - I love cow parsley, ammi, most of the umbellifers. This is a woodland border which I intend to leave a bit on the wild side with native flowers and this particular bit of it is in the rain shadow of 2 very mature trees. It's a small 2m x 2m area where it's quite difficult  to establish anything except bulbs and ground cover like lamium - so anything which will bring some mid height is very welcome. 

    I'll probably remove most of the seed heads (don't want it everywhere) but a little self seeding won't be a bad thing. Thanks for the heads up about skin irritation Lyn - I'll treat it with due respectimage

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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