Poison Hemlock

Conium maculatum

Poison Hemlock


This plant resembles wild carrot or Queen Anne’s Lace. It is a naturalized weed throughout North America. The foliage is sometimes mistaken for parsley. When crushed, the leaves produce an offensive odor, which has been described as similar to mouse or cat urine. The whole plant, but particularly the root, is poisonous. It prefers to grow in wet ground, such as roadside ditches or marshy land. Poison hemlock is thought to be the hemlock used to kill Socrates.