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Poison Hemlock

This extremely toxic weed could be growing in your backyard and be a threat to your family!

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

DEADLY stuff to be sure!


This same plant grows wild along roadsides, creeks and wooded areas in much of North America.

Poison Hemlock is native to Western Asia, Europe and North Africa and has also been introduced to Australia and South America.

By the first week of June in many locales, plants have already reached 8-feet tall and blossomed.


ALL plant parts are extremely poisonous, especially the seeds, and one plant can produce over 30,000 seeds. 

Due to the extreme toxicity of Poison Hemlock, all bodily contact should be avoided!


Since the plant is a biennial (with a 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. Be sure to read and follow label instructions on herbicide containers.


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


Great care should be taken with Poison Hemlock since plant parts remain poisonous for YEARS, even after this weed is cut down! 

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


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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