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Avoid Poison Hemlock

This widespread toxic weed should be avoided!


Remember the old story about Socrates drinking a cup of Poison Hemlock?

Deadly stuff to be sure!

poison hemlock

This same plant grows wild along roadsides, creeks and wooded areas in Pennsylvania.

Right now the first week of June many plants have already reached 8-feet tall and bloomed.

poison hemlock stems with purple marks

All plant parts are extremely poisonous, especially the seeds, and one plant can produce 30,000 seeds!

Due to the toxicity of Poison Hemlock, bodily contact should be avoided.

poison hemlock leaves

Since the plant is a biennial (2 year growth cycle) the best way to control its spread is to eliminate it before it goes to seed.

Herbicides can be used for control in addition to cutting or pulling, but be sure to read and follow label instructions.

poison hemlock flower
Poison Hemlock (above) is
sometimes confused with
Queen Anne's Lace (below)
Queen Anne's Lace

Great care should be taken when handling plant parts since they remain poisonous for years after being cut down.

Keep out of the reach of children, livestock, pets and wildlife.

Bob

Poison Hemlock
Conium maculatum

  • All plant parts are extremely poisonous to livestock and human beings, so avoid contact. Plant parts can remain toxic for years.
  • Brought to US from Europe in 1800's
  • Biennial herb grows 8 to 9 feet tall
  • White blossoms in late Spring
  • Purple blotches on hollow stems
  • Especially invasive along stream banks
  • One plant can produce 30,000 seeds
  • Control by pulling, mowing (wear eye and skin protection) or herbicides (read and follow label directions). Keep out of the reach of children, livestock, pets and wildlife.

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