Giant hogweed is a tall (up to 15-20 feet in height), herbaceous, biennial plant that invades disturbed areas across both the Northeast and Pacific Northwestern United States. Giant hogweed is designated as a federal noxious weed because the sap it produces can cause skin sensitivity to UV radiation, leading to blistering and severe burns. Giant hogweed can invade a variety of habitats but prefers moist disturbed soils such as riverbanks, ditches, and railroad right-of-ways. Giant hogweed is native to Europe and Asia. It was first introduced into the United States in 1917 for ornamental purposes.
In 2004, giant hogweed was found near Warsaw, Indiana (Kosciusko County). In 2006, giant hogweed was found near Lakeville (St. Joseph County). Eradication of both giant hogweed sites is ongoing.