What Does Poison Hemlock Look Like

Those who are looking for ways to prevent poison hemlock from invading their home or ranch need to know what poison hemlock looks like. Poison hemlock is an invasive plant that can harm both humans and livestock.

Symptoms of poison hemlock

Symptoms of poison hemlock include respiratory paralysis, muscle weakness, nervous trembling, cyanotic appearance, and a weak pulse. These symptoms may occur within a few hours after ingestion, but are more severe in some people. The chemical compounds found in poison hemlock are highly toxic to humans and animals.

Some animals and humans who have ingested poison hemlock will experience respiratory failure and respiratory muscle paralysis. This can be life threatening and may lead to death. The chemical hemlock alkaloids are absorbed through the nose, mouth, and eyes.

The symptoms of poison hemlock are usually milder than those found in poison sumac or poison ivy. They may include difficulty walking, muscle twitching, dilation of the pupil, and gastrointestinal irritation. If you think you may have ingested poison hemlock, you should go to the emergency room. A doctor can check your blood for the poison hemlock toxin. If the toxin is present, you may be prescribed antiseizure medication to lessen the symptoms. If the toxin is not present, you will likely be able to recover without medication.

If you’ve been poisoned, you may be in a coma. It is important to ensure continuous respiration. It is also important to prevent dehydration. Fluids may be administered intravenously to restore nutrient levels. If the toxin is present, a ventilator may be used.

If you suspect that you or a loved one have been poisoned by poison hemlock, you should go to your local emergency room. If the symptoms are severe, you may need to be admitted. A ventilator may be used for several days to relieve breathing difficulties. A blood test can also be performed to determine if you have hemlock alkaloids in your system.

A 6-year-old girl was admitted to the emergency room with symptoms of hemlock poisoning. She had a tremor in her hands and mouth. She also had hypersalivation. She was diagnosed with hemlock poisoning and was treated with supportive care.

A landowner was exposed to poison hemlock while cutting weeds. He spent 109 days in the hospital. He was diagnosed with hemlock poisoning after his blood tests showed a positive result for the toxin.


Identifying poison hemlock is relatively easy once you know what to look for. This plant is found in almost every state in the U.S., and it is especially common in North America. The poisonous plant can also be found in most of the Canadian provinces.

During the first year, the plant grows as a rosette of dark green leaves. In the second year, it grows in a more vigorous manner. Its leaves are triangular in shape and are deeply lobed. They are glossy and hairless. They are up to twenty inches long.

The poison hemlock has a long taproot. It grows in wet areas and is usually found in low elevations. It is very toxic to humans and livestock. Symptoms of poison hemlock include cold extremities, nervousness, trembling, a weak heartbeat, and a coma. It also can cause a severe skin reaction.

Poison hemlock flowers appear between May and August. They are inflorescent and grow in clusters. The flower resembles an umbrella. The plants grow to between five and ten feet high. They have an unpleasant odor and are often carried by flood waters.

Poison hemlock is also called water hemlock. It is a native North American species. Unlike other plants of its genus, it lacks a waxy coating on its stems. Its stems are smooth and purple.

Poison hemlock seeds are spread by water and animals. This is a particularly dangerous plant for dogs, since it is highly toxic to dogs. Its seeds are also spread by birds and rodents.

If you see an abundance of poison hemlock, it is a good idea to remove it as soon as possible. The plant can be disposed of with yard waste. It is also a good idea to wear protective eyewear while weeding or mowing in poison hemlock areas.

In addition to being a very toxic plant, poison hemlock also can be mistaken for a medicinal plant. It is a member of the Apiaceae family. This family includes plants such as carrots, parsley, and garden carrots.

Poison hemlock is a biennial plant that takes two years to complete its life cycle. It produces over 30,000 seeds.

Control methods

Identifying and controlling poison hemlock can be difficult, especially in the winter when this weed is dormant. There are a variety of control methods available to you. Some of them are mechanical, while others involve chemical treatments.

Mechanical methods of control include removing the seeds and flowers. These can be very effective in controlling small infestations. However, it is recommended that you wear protective clothing and equipment such as a dust mask and closed-toed shoes when performing these operations.

Herbicides are also effective in controlling poison hemlock. The best herbicides for this weed are those that contain glyphosate or 2,4-D. These are often effective on young rosettes of this weed. Other effective herbicides include those that contain dicamba and triclopyr.

Aside from chemical control, there are also cultural practices you can employ. One of these is to overseed with grasses to reduce the competition. You can also try mowing.

Poison hemlock grows as a biennial in cooler areas of the United States. In these areas, it usually grows in disturbed areas with moist soils. It can grow as high as 12 feet.

Poison hemlock can be toxic to humans and animals. It contains highly toxic alkaloids. The alkaloids can be fatal if absorbed through the skin. It can cause vomiting, paralysis, and coma. It is also very toxic to livestock. Ingesting even a small amount of plant material can kill a 1,600-pound animal.

Poison hemlock can spread to other areas through seed dispersal. It can produce a staggering 35,000 to 40,000 seeds each year. If these seeds germinate, they can remain viable in the soil for several years.

It is also possible to use non-selective herbicides. These herbicides can produce herbicidal openings that allow more poison hemlock to grow. However, the effectiveness of these herbicides decreases with age.

Alternatively, you can remove the plant. This is most effective when poison hemlock is in the rosette stage. If you are dealing with a large infestation, you can use a string trimmer or mower to cut down the plant. This can be an effective control method, but you must observe the plant for several weeks to ensure that the seeds have not reseeded.

Toxicity to humans and livestock

Known as the hemlock, poison hemlock is a highly poisonous plant to both humans and livestock. It is often seen in roadside ditches, fences and rangelands.

The plant has dark green leaves with fern-like leaflets. They are deep divided and have purple spots on the base. They are also hollow. It forms dense stands, and they are invasive.

The seeds are very toxic, and may cause fetal deformities in many animals, including cattle. The seeds are round and lined with vertical wavy ribs. They are usually deadly if eaten.

In addition to fetal deformities, ingestion of poison hemlock can cause muscle weakness, drooling, rapid respiration and nervousness. These symptoms may appear within one hour or a few hours after eating the plant. They can also lead to death, and can occur within fifteen minutes to two hours after eating the plant.

To prevent poisoning, you should take care to avoid overgrazing. Cattle should not eat hemlock in the spring, when the plant is rapidly growing. You should also keep away from water hemlock plants.

When you handle poison hemlock, wear gloves, and use protective clothing. You should also wash your clothes and equipment after working in an infested area. The plant is extremely toxic to the skin. You should also avoid burning it. The plant will not be completely disposed of, so you should use a professional to dispose of it.

To control poison hemlock, you should spray or mow the plant with 2,4-D + dicamba. Using this combination will reduce the plant’s ability to produce seeds. You may also have to repeat applications. You should also take frequent breaks during handling.

If you see signs of poisoning in livestock, remove them from the feed immediately. If you are not able to remove the animal, treat it with activated charcoal or a gastric lavage. These treatments may help control the parasympathetic signs, which are a common symptom of poisoning.

Livestock are more susceptible to poison hemlock than humans. Horses, cattle, sheep and goats all have the potential to be poisoned.

The signs of poisoning will occur within an hour or two after the animal eats the plant. These signs include drooling, muscle weakness, rapid respiration, pupil dilation, and loss of coordination. In some cases, the animal may die within fifteen minutes to two hours after eating the poison hemlock.