What Does Poison Hemlock Look Like

Whether you’re a gardener or just a backyard tree-hugger, you might be curious to know what poison hemlock looks like. In this article, we’ll examine the leaves, flowers, fruit, and location of the plant. And we’ll look at the symptoms of poisoning.


Whether you live in a rural area or you have a garden, you probably have heard of the poison hemlock. This plant is an excellent source of toxins that can harm people and livestock. The leaves, seeds and taproot of this plant are extremely toxic.

When a person ingests poison hemlock, they are likely to feel ill, tremble, vomit, become dizzy, and even develop convulsions. Depending on the severity of the toxicity, a person may die within a few hours. It can also cause permanent damage to the central nervous system.

To prevent the spread of this plant, it is best to dispose of the plants in plastic bags. If you are doing this on your own, be sure to wear protective clothing. This includes a dust mask.

When attempting to eradicate poison hemlock, it is important to wear protective clothing and to have professional help. The sap can burn the skin of animals and humans that are cutting the plants back. It is also a good idea to wash all of your clothes before removing the plant.

The poison hemlock plant is a biennial that grows in the spring and the fall. It is a member of the carrot family, Apiaceae. It grows from a low-growing rosette to a tall flowering stalk.

The poison hemlock plant has pale green leaves with deep divided leaflets. They are triangular in shape and hairless. They have an unpleasant smell when crushed. They look similar to parsley and wild carrots.

The poison hemlock plant grows from a taproot that resembles a small white carrot. Its stem is purple with purple spots and has a foul odor.

The plant is a weed that can take over native grass sites and is commonly found in wet areas. The root is also a hazard to wildlife.


Identifying poison hemlock can be difficult. This plant has similar characteristics to some edible and medicinal plants, but its poisonous seeds, leaves, and stems are dangerous to both humans and livestock.

The flowers of poison hemlock look like Queen Anne’s lace or wild fennel. They grow in clusters on the tips of branches. They are grouped in an umbrella-shaped cluster, with four to six brown bracts.

Poison hemlock is a biennial plant. The plant grows to about five to 10 feet in height. It has hairless, smooth stems with purple or red spots. It produces an abundance of seeds.

The first year plant looks like a small rosette. The second year plant is more developed, with large clumps of leaves forming.

The plant’s fruit is egg-shaped. Each fruit contains two dry halves.

The stem of the poison hemlock is hollow, and it is typically spotted with red or purple at the base. The taproot is white, resembling a small white carrot.

The flowers of poison hemlock are usually white. They are about half an inch across. The flowers are arranged in clusters, forming an upside-down umbel. The ovary is above the flower cluster.

The plant’s foliage is lacy and dissected. The petioles are longer than the upper stem leaves.

The fruit of the poison hemlock is toxic to humans, livestock, and wildlife. It can cause severe skin reactions. The sap of the plant contains furanocoumarins, which are a stress response compound that enters the cells of unknowing victims. They are activated by ultraviolet light, and they can cause a painful skin rash when sunlight contacts the sap.

Infestations should be controlled before seed production begins. Mowing can help to eliminate the plant and decrease the amount of poison hemlock it produces.


During its second year, the poison hemlock produces a flowering stem that can reach eight feet high. The flower is white, umbrella-shaped, and produces copious amounts of seeds. The fruit is two dry halves, each containing one seed.

The seeds are toxic when eaten. They are lined with vertical wavy ribs. They remain viable in the soil for up to three years. The plant is considered a noxious weed. It is found in marshes and streams, along roads, and in irrigation ditches.

The leaves of the poison hemlock are lacy and resemble ferns. The leaflets are finely divided. They are particularly poisonous during the spring and flowering stages.

The hemlock is a biennial plant, meaning that it grows in the fall and again in the spring. The first year it produces a tall rosette. It then grows into a flowering stalk. When it is flowering, the stem will be spotted with red or purple at the base. When it is mature, the fruit will be grayish brown. The poisonous seeds will drop off during the fall.

The seeds are poisonous to livestock. The root is also highly toxic. Western water hemlock is one of the most deadly plants in North America. It can kill a 1,200-pound horse. When an animal ingests the poison hemlock, it can die within two to three hours.

In the past, it was used as a poison for execution. The Greek philosopher Socrates drank a tea derived from poison hemlock for his own execution. The plant can be very dangerous to humans and wildlife. The sap is toxic to skin and respiratory systems.

Because of its toxicity, it is important to remove the plant promptly. To do this, use gloves, clean your clothes, and take frequent breaks.

Symptoms of poisoning

Symptoms of poisoning hemlock can vary depending on the species and environmental conditions. For instance, sheep are less susceptible than cattle. However, poisoning can happen in all classes of livestock, so it is important to be aware of what to look for when trying to prevent it.

The plant itself is very toxic to both humans and animals. It is a member of the Apiaceae family, which includes celery, carrots, parsley, dill, and cilantro.

There are various methods of controlling hemlock, and most strategies are aimed at reducing human and animal poisoning. For example, the best way to control hemlock is to avoid grazing in poisoned areas. Another option is to use herbicides on small patches of poison hemlock. These herbicides are available for both residential and commercial users.

Herbicides may require a bit of drainage and irrigation. They may be more effective if they are used in conjunction with other control measures. Similarly, if the infestation is large, a single application may not be enough to completely eradicate the plant.

The first true leaves of poison hemlock are usually two feet long, with sheathed bases. They are elliptical with prominent veining underneath. They are the plant’s most recognizable feature.

Interestingly, the poison hemlock plant does not need sunlight to germinate. It’s seeds can germinate at virtually any time of year, although they need a warm summer to do so.

The European palearctic moth is a major herbivore of the poison hemlock, and the larvae feed on the buds of the plant in the early summer. However, the moth is not known to be a successful control agent.

The poison hemlock plant has a unique smell. It is reminiscent of mouse urine.

Location in the U.S.

Throughout North America, poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) is a highly toxic weed that can be found in wet, disturbed areas, along waterways, on the edges of fields, and near railroads. Its small, white, umbrella-shaped flowers bloom in spring and are common in wetland areas. Its seeds are also found in wet areas.

Its roots contain an oily liquid that is yellow in color. The stem is hollow, has a tuberous root, and is often spotted with purple spots. The leaves are divided into 3 to 4 finely pinnately compound leaves. They have a fern-like appearance, and are attached at the nodes.

This invasive species is known to be deadly to humans and animals. If eaten, the sap can enter the body, causing respiratory failure and death. The sap also contains toxic alkaloids that can cause blistering, trembling, or muscle paralysis. It can also be rubbed into the eyes.

It is a highly invasive plant that has spread over many states in the United States. It is commonly seen in fields, ditches, roads, and fence rows. It can also invade grazing areas and floodplains of natural aquatic systems.

It is also highly poisonous to livestock. The seeds can be carried on shoes and tractor tires, and can be easily spread by water after heavy rains. The plant has a two-year life cycle. In the first year, it grows as a low-growing rosette. In the second year, it produces a flowering stem. In the first year, the plant is small, but in the second, it is up to 8 feet tall.

In the United States, poison hemlock is most common in wet, disturbed areas. It is also prevalent in wetlands and wetland-edge areas, and in road right-of-ways and farm fields.