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Hogweed


A lovely unfurling shoot, perfect for the pot
A lovely unfurling shoot, perfect for the pot
A lovely unfurling shoot, perfect for the pot
A lovely unfurling shoot, perfect for the pot
Hogweed flowers
Hogweed flowers
Hogweed flowers
Hogweed flowers
The unopened flower bud which can be treated as broccoli
The unopened flower bud which can be treated as broccoli
The cardamom tasting seeds of Hogweed
The cardamom tasting seeds of Hogweed
A lovely unfurling shoot, perfect for the pot
A lovely unfurling shoot, perfect for the pot
Hogweed, Heracleum sphondylium
Hogweed, Heracleum sphondylium
Hogweed roots
Hogweed roots
Hogweed in flower
Hogweed in flower


Edibility Edible
   
Common Name 2 Cow Parsnip
Latin Name Heracleum sphodylium
   
Season Start March
Season End November
   
   
Habitat Wood edges, beside paths, roadside verges and many other environments.
Leaves Starting curled within an envelope and pale green opening out to large dark green roughly lobed leaves.
Flowers Large white umbels made up of many tiny flowers. (Umbel being shaped like an umberella).
Stem Green to dark red/brown/purple. Fleshy, thick and covered in small hairs.
Roots Sometimes thick and a bit parsnip like but more often thin, small and very branched.
Smell Camphorous.
Taste Cooked like spinach hogweed has a flavour of its own. One of the best tasting of the wild foods available in the UK.

The shoots are best blanched and cooked in butter, the leaves can be used when very young or as a flavouring for soups and stews, the flower buds can be used  like broccoli and the roots can be used like parsnips but must be boiled well.
Collecting Only the young leaves should be eaten before they open out fully. Gloves should be worn as a few people can find they get an allergic skin reaction when in regular contact with the sap rather like Giant Hogweed but nowhere near as severe.
Possible Confusion Giant Hogweed! This is a very dangerous plant with phototoxic sap which will burn your skin extremely badly if exposed to the Sun. This is no idle warning, if you want to see how bad the burns can get a simple google search should do the trick.

Giant hogweed has slightly shinier leaves more hair in a ring around the stem where the leaf joints are, and more flower stems, and is much larger when mature. Giant hogweed gets to 4 metres tall, common hogweed ijs normally around 2 metres or less.

To ID Giant Hogweed click this link  www.wildfooduk.com/hedgerow-food-guide/giant-hogweed-hedgerow/


Description
One of my favorite wild foods but because of the phototoxicity of Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) people seem scared of this plant.
Medical Use Hogweed oil was used as a sedative and expectorant.
Other Use