Top Poison Hemlock Questions and Answers

Sandy Rowley
4 min readNov 29, 2022

Poison hemlock is a highly poisonous plant that is native to Europe and Asia but has been introduced to North America, where it is now found in all 50 states. It is sometimes called “snakeweed” or “poison parsley.” All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the leaves and seeds are the most toxic. If you think you or someone you know has been exposed to poison hemlock, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In the meantime, here are some answers to commonly asked questions about poison hemlock.

What is poison hemlock?

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) is a member of the carrot family. It is a biennial herb that grows up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) tall. The leaves are finely divided and the flowers are small, white, and arranged in umbrella-like clusters. All parts of the plant are poisonous.

The poison is found primarily in the roots, but all parts of the plant contain it. The level of poison varies depending on the age of the plant and growing conditions. The poison is more concentrated in young plants and during dry conditions.

Symptoms of poison hemlock poisoning include gastrointestinal upset, seizures, muscle weakness, paralysis, and respiratory failure. Death can occur within 2–6 hours after ingestion of a lethal dose. Poison hemlock has been used as a method of execution and suicide throughout history.

Where does poison hemlock grow?

Poison hemlock is a plant that can be found growing in the wild in many areas of the United States. It typically grows in moist, shady areas such as along streams or in woods. Poison hemlock can also be found growing in some gardens and landscapes.

What does poison hemlock look like?

Poison hemlock is a tall, slender plant that can grow up to 10 feet in height. It has small white flowers that bloom in clusters and leaves that are large and serrated. The stem of the plant is green and smooth, with purple spots near the base. Poison hemlock is found in wet areas such as marshes, streambanks, and ditches.

If you think you have come into contact with poison hemlock, it is important to wash the area with soap and water immediately. You should also call your local poison control center or seek medical attention.

How does poison hemlock kill?

Most people know that poison hemlock is a deadly plant, but they may not know exactly how it kills. The plant contains several toxic compounds, including coniine, g-coniceine, and pseudoconic acid. These compounds work together to cause paralysis of the respiratory system. victims of poison hemlock slowly suffocate to death as their lungs cease to function.

Poison hemlock is thought to be one of the most poisonous plants in North America. It is sometimes called “water hemlock” because it often grows near water sources. The plant can grow up to six feet tall and has small white flowers that resemble Queen Anne’s lace. Poison hemlock is most commonly found in the eastern United States, but it can be found throughout the country.

Who is at risk of poisoning from poison hemlock?

Poison hemlock is a highly poisonous plant that can be found growing in many parts of the United States. The plant is most commonly found in damp, marshy areas, but can also grow in dryer areas such as fields and roadsides. All parts of the poison hemlock plant are poisonous, and contact with any part of the plant can cause serious health problems. Symptoms of poisoning from poison hemlock include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, seizures, and coma. Death can occur within hours if not treated promptly. Poison hemlock is most commonly eaten by livestock, but humans can also be poisoned if they eat the plant or come into contact with it.

How can you avoid coming into contact with poison hemlock?

Poison hemlock is a highly toxic plant that can be found in many areas of the United States. It is important to be aware of this plant and how to avoid coming into contact with it.

There are a few ways that you can avoid coming into contact with poison hemlock:

1. Be aware of where it grows. Poison hemlock typically grows in moist, shady areas. It is often found along roadsides, ditches, and streams. If you are hiking or camping in an area where poison hemlock may grow, be sure to stay on trails and away from areas of dense vegetation.

2. Learn to identify poison hemlock. This plant can be easily confused with other harmless plants, so it is important to know what it looks like. Poison hemlock has large, flat leaves and small white flowers that grow in umbels (clusters). The stem of the plant is hollow and can appear green or purple in color.

3. Avoid touching or handling the plant. If you come into contact with poison hemlock, wash the affected area immediately with soap and water. Do not touch your eyes or mouth after coming into contact with this plant as it can cause severe irritation.

What should you do if you think you or someone else has been poisoned by poison hemlock

If you or someone else has been poisoned by poison hemlock, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Poison hemlock is a very dangerous plant, and even ingesting small amounts can be fatal. If you think you or someone else has been poisoned, call 911 or your local poison control center right away.

Table of Contents — Poison Hemlock

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