Information on Giant Hogweed

Page archived as of September 30, 2018

For Immediate Release: July 2, 2018

Recently there have been reports of Giant Hogweed in Virginia, and specifically in Alexandria.  The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities’ Natural Resources Division is working with the Virginia Cooperative Extension on reported sightings.  

There is no evidence that Giant Hogweed is widely spreading, according to experts at Virginia Tech and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).  Current sightings of this plant show it has been growing where it has been planted.  

Other common plants are often mistaken for Giant Hogweed, including Cow Parsnip, Angelica, and Queen Anne's Lace.  What sets Giant Hogweed apart is its size, with plants growing up to 10- feet tall, and leaves that are up to 2-feet across.  

If you suspect that you have seen a Giant Hogweed plant, do not touch or attempt to remove the plant.  Instead, take a photo of the plant, check online to compare the plant to other photos, then contact the local Virginia Cooperative Extension agent, Kirsten Ann Conrad, at 703.228.6400, or file a report online  by visiting

To learn more about local response to concerns surrounding this plant, visit