Common name: Poison Hemlock
Scientific name: Conium maculatum L.
Poison hemlock is native to Europe and was brought to North America as an ornamental plant. It is a member of the carrot family (Apiaceae) and it may be mistaken for similar white flowered carrot family plants such as wild carrot.
Water hemlock (Cicuta maculata) is a similar native species that is also very toxic. The flowers are very similar but the leaves of water hemlock are not as fern-like as poison hemlock’s leaves and the stems of water hemlock are not spotted with purple.
Poison hemlock is found on roadsides, in pastures, along streambanks, and in ditches.
Poison hemlock produces abundant seed that can be easily spread by mowing or other equipment.
**Highly poisonous** to humans and livestock – do not ingest any part of the plant. Use gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and closed-toe boots if working in an infestation. Poison hemlock can grow in dense patches and displaces native vegetation.
Effective management must prevent seed production and exhaust the seedbank.
Poison hemlock is very toxic to humans and livestock. Symptoms of toxicity include: nervous trembling, salivation, pupil dilation, rapid, weak pulse, and eventually leading to coma or death. If you suspect toxicity from poison hemlock, call Minnesota Poison Control System immediately at 1-800-222-1222. For suspected toxicity to animals, call your local veterinarian.