POISON HEMLOCK
File Size: 99 KB
 
Conium maculatum  L.
Lincoln County, Kansas
Biennial
Height: 2-10 feet
Family: Apiaceae - Parsley Family
Flowering Period:   June, July
Stems: Erect, much-branched, ribbed, glabrous, waxy, usually marked with purplish blotches.
Leaves: Alternate, long-stalked below, short-stalked above, 6 to 12 inches long, 2 to 12 inches wide, fern-like, glabrous, 3-4 times odd-pinnately compound; ultimate leaflets oblong to lanceolate, toothed or pinnately divided.
Inflorescences: Umbels, compound, 1.5 to 5 inches wide, flat to rounded, with 8-17 slender, unequal rays.
Flowers: Tiny, about 1/10 inch wide, 5-parted, white; calyx teeth absent; petals 5; tips notched.
Fruits: Egg-shaped, dry, flattened, grayish brown, with 2 wavy ribbed segments; seeds 2, flattened to concave, smooth.
Habitat: Low waste ground, thickets, roadsides, and stream banks, in moist soils.
Distribution: Throughout except southwest corner of Kansas.
Origin: It is native to Europe and naturalized in the United States.
Toxicity: All parts of this plant are highly poisonous to humans and livestock. Contact between the leaves and skin can cause nausea and blurred vision.
Comments: Hemlock is said to have caused the death of Socrates in ancient Greece. Poison hemlock can be confused easily with parsley or wild dill.

Poison hemlock inflorescence
52 KB
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Poison hemlock
143 KB
Mitchell County, Kansas
Poison hemlock inflorescence
87 KB
Ottawa County, Kansas
Poison hemlock
150 KB
Ottawa County, Kansas
Poison hemlock leaf
108 KB
Ottawa County, Kansas
Poison hemlock stem
146 KB
Ottawa County, Kansas
Poison hemlock leaves
90 KB
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Chase County, Kansas
Poison hemlock
104 KB
Geary County, Kansas
Poison hemlock
126 KB
Geary County, Kansas