Heracleum- Cow Parsnip, Cartwheel Flower, Hogweed

Very decorative biennial plant, excellent for drying. The sap may cause nasty skin burns, especially in sunny weather.


An unusual specimen plant for sunny to partially shaded positions. After flowering in the second or third year the plant dies.


Fairly damp, rich soil will produce the finest plants.


The cow parsnip is self-sowing, but the seeds usually germinate too late for the plants to flower in the following year. It is therefore better to buy seed and sow in early summer. The plants are pricked out, transferred to their permanent position in early autumn and, if necessary, covered lightly.

Heracleum mantegazzianum: Height to 3 m, at least 2 m wide; large white flower umbels in mid to late summer. Leaves to 1 m across, lobed and deeply incised.

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