In response to recent incidents involving the giant hogweed in Virginia, plant experts at Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension have published this guide to identification and control of the species. It includes information on what to do should a person come in contact with a suspected giant hogweed population.
Hogweed plants found in Virginia are thought to have been planted as ornamental vegetation, some as much as 30 years ago. In an isolated incident, a teen suffered second and third-degree burns while clearing hogweed while working at a summer job near Fredericksburg.
Anyone who suspects they have located giant hogweed should be encouraged to contact the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or their extension agent.
Media outlets interested in obtaining an interview on the topic of giant hogweed should email Bill Foy in the Virginia Tech media relations office; By phone at 540-998-0288.