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Terrible 10 – Poison Hemlock

Poison Hemlock

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum)

  • Found in open areas by roadsides, in fields and natural areas.
  • Grows to 8 ft tall (significantly taller than wild carrot at 3 ft); hairless, hollow stalks have purple blotches. Leaves are on petioles, alternate, pinnate and lacey. White flowers born on umbels, many per plant (wild carrot has only 1, hairy, flower stalk). Unpleasant, musty smell when crushed. Enlarged taproot.
  • Native to Eurasia, possibly arrived via contaminated seed.
  • Toxic to both humans and livestock, may cause death if ingested. Also toxic to skin and respiratory system. Resembles parsley and native wild carrot or parsnip.

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