Giant Hogweed and Wild Parsnip may sound like cute names, but in reality they are noxious weeds that the city is reminding to avoid and if you get close to them a severe reaction can occur.


Giant Hogweed (main pic), which often grows three to four metres in height with white flowers that form an umbrella shape. Its sap can cause a severe burning reaction if exposed to the sun.

Wild Parsnip is a branched plant with hollow stems and tall flowering stalks that are green but will soon turn brown as summer turns to fall. Upon contact Wild Parsnip can cause a burning rash and irritation. If residents come in contact with either weeds they should immediately wash and rinse their skin and wash their clothing separately from other laundry. (PICTURED BELOW)


City staff have been actively spraying and removing the weeds throughout the spring and summer, and warning signs have been placed in trails that have a higher concentration of weeds. If residents spot either weed in a City park or trail they should report it to Citizens First at 905.688.5600 or

“We encourage residents to go and explore our parks while the weather is still warm,” said Jeffery Silcox-Childs, acting director of parks, recreation and cultural services. “Residents just need to know that weeds like Giant Hogweed and Wild Parsnip do pose health risks. If someone spots them in a park or trail the best thing to do is leave them alone and notify the City.”

The City will continue to remove or quarantine Giant Hogweed and Wild Parsnip from City parks and trails. If a resident finds either weed on their property they should consult with a professional yard-care company on removing the noxious weeds safely.

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