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Poison Hemlock

Conium maculatum L.

Apiaceae (Carrot Family)

▲ ▼ seedlings 

▲▼ Young plants

 

▲▼ Young plants  

▲▼ Young plants

 

Leaf ▲▼

 

▲▼Spotted stems 

▲▼Spotted stems 

▲▼Spotted stems

▲▼ mature, flowering plants 

 

▲▼ mature, flowering plants 

 

▲▼ mature, flowering plants 

▼ flowers

 

 

young plants growing at base of past season's dried flowering stems

Colony of poison hemlock in June along roadside in pasture▲

 

Conium maculatum L.; Poison Hemlock: (Bayer Code:  COIMA; US Code COMA2)

         Herbaceous biennial native to Europe

         Produces large rosette of finely divided, fernlike leaves in fall of first year

         Produces elongated, spotted (usually hairless or nearly so), flower stalk with multiple loose umbels of tiny white flowers

         Flower stalk can grow 3-8 feet tall, sometimes taller

         Appears very similar to Wild Carrot/Queen Ann's Lace:

o   Wild Carrot has hairy stems, and leaves and has a carrot-like odor; dried flower heads fold up into funnel shape

o   Poison Hemlock is nearly hairless; flowering stems smooth or waxy with purple spots; stems and leaves have a musky (mousy) odor; dried flower head remain open, flat  

         Entire plant is poisonous to consume; some people get contact dermatitis from foliage contact

         Consuming very small amount of plant can be deadly to humansóleaves are most poisonous part

         Also causes sickness in grazing livestock

         Very common in southwest Missouri

 

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Updated 15 January 2019