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Giant hogweed is an invasive perennial herb from the carrot family (Apiaceae). It was likely introduced to British Columbia, from Asia, as an ornamental plant. Since its introduction to British Columbia, it has escaped cultivation and is rapidly spreading throughout Vancouver Island, the Coast and Lower Mainland. It continues to be available as an ornamental plant, and has also been found as a contaminant of food produce in international trade. It is an undesirable invader due to its large size, prolific seed production and vigorous growth. It is also poses a health hazard to BC citizens—the leaves and stems contain a clear, watery, highly toxic sap that can cause hypersensitivity to sunlight resulting in burns, blisters, and scarring when coming into contact with skin.