Hogweed Notice

Residents are asked to be vigilant with regard to a highly toxic and invasive plant, Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum). Giant Hogweed has a clear watery sap that can burn skin if exposed to sunlight. If you come into contact with the sap of this plant:

  • Avoid touching your eyes or wiping the sap on other parts of your body or clothes
  • Wash affected areas immediately
  • Keep the affected area out of the sun
  • Seek medical advice

Please report the location of Giant Hogweed to the Town by calling (709) 437-6532, when found in public areas of Torbay. If you think the plant maybe on your private property, please also contact the Town for advice on how to safely dispose of it.

See a picture below of Giant Hogweed, which in some cases, can grow to over 15 feet in height.


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  1. Jack Hickey

    Have we had this plant in Torbay or surrounding areas ?

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Jack,

      Thanks for the question. It’s thankfully not particularly common, but it has been spotted and reported to the Town recently.

    2. Jeanette Mifflin

      We have 2 in our backyard behind our shed!!!

      1. Ross @ Torbay

        Hi Jeanette,

        Definitely reach out to the Town tomorrow morning and speak with Bernie Manning for advice on how to remove. It’s best not to attempt to remove it until speaking with us for guidance.

  2. Jordan

    Ive seen this plant around my property and in other areas as well although have never seen it bigger than 2 or 3 feet. Whats the best way to remove chemically or just pluck and dispose?

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Jordan,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Best thing to do is give Town Hall a call in the morning and ask to speak to Bernie Manning in the Public Works Department for some guidance on removing it. As the plant you described is a lot lower, there’s a chance it’s the native plant, Cow Parsnip. This too can irritate the skin, but not to the degree that Giant Hogweed can. All parts of Giant Hogweed, from the flowers, leaves, stem and even roots can be quite toxic. It’s best to be cautious.

  3. Darlene

    how do you get rid of this?

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Darlene,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Please call Town Hall during regular office hours and speak to Bernie Manning with the Public Works Department for some guidance on removing this plant.

  4. Shawn Dawson

    This is not hogweed. It’s cow parsnip. Still something to be aware of! Same deal as hogweed but a little less severe. This will only reach heights of 6 or 7 feet as you see in picture of “flowering plant”.. hogweed reaches heights of 15 feet… I am so glad that Torbay is addressing the public about the cow parsnip problem though!! It’s all over the place just after middle Cove.

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Shawn,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We’re following up on all reports just to be safe, as you mention they can be difficult to tell the difference. Height is the major give away and the flowers are slightly different also.

  5. Lara

    There are also plants that look a lot like hogweed, but aren’t a danger, such as Angelica.

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Lara, that’s correct. Approximately 7 other types of plant in the same species look very similar. Due to teh leaf structure we believe that this plant was Hogweed, so disposed of it to be cautious.

  6. Joan Rumsey

    Is it possible for Bernie Manning to post the information on how to get rid of these plants? It would save him a lot of time answering all the phone calls. We have the same plant on our property as well as our neighbors on both sides of us.

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Joan,

      We’re aware of the huge interest the notice has caused. Always a good thing to have more people knowing about Hogweed.

      We’ll post updated information on Monday!

  7. Karen

    We spotted a few of these on Father Troy’s Trail between Gallow’s Cove and Tapper’s Cove. There are at least 5 of them there. Really close to the trail. Only small yet but one or two are flowering. The rest are leaves only. Spotted them on Saturday July 29th.

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Karen,

      Yes, the Town did have reports of hogweed on the trail. It was determined that they were actually in Flatrock so we advised them of the issue and location.

  8. Sandra Cable

    I think I may have come in contact with this doing a trail in torbay . The tops of my hands were burning like crazy . The pain was really bad

    1. Ross @ Torbay

      Hi Sandra, as we mention in the article, if symptoms persist, definitely seek medical attention.

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