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poison hemlock,lethally poisonous herbaceous plant (Conium maculatum) of the family Umbelliferae (parsleyparsley,
Mediterranean aromatic herb (Petroselinum crispum or Apium petroselinum) of the carrot family, cultivated since the days of the Romans for its foliage, used in cookery as a seasoning and garnish.
..... Click the link for more information. family). It has rank, finely divided foliage, flat-topped clusters of small white flowers, and a hollow, purple-mottled stem. Although native to the Old World, it is now naturalized and common in parts of the United States. The poisonous principle (the alkaloid coniine) causes paralysis, convulsions, and eventual death. Poison hemlock was used in ancient Greece in executions; a famous example was the philosopher Socrates. The related water hemlock (any species of Cicuta) is similar in appearance and as poisonous. C. maculata, called also musquash-root, spotted cowbane, and beaver poison, is the common species of E North America. The evergreen trees called hemlockhemlock,
any tree of the genus Tsuga, coniferous evergreens of the family Pinaceae (pine family) native to North America and Asia. The common hemlock of E North America is the eastern hemlock, T.
..... Click the link for more information. are unrelated. Poison hemlock is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Apiales, family Umbelliferae.
Poison Hemlock and Water Hemlock- one of the most poisonous plants, grows in moist areas near water, streams, ditches, swamps. White flower clusters in umbrella shape. Stems are smooth (no hair) and have purple splotches, sometimes covered with a white powder that rubs off easily. The leaves are sometimes mistaken for parsley. Smells bad and can grow up to 10 feet high.
poison hemlock[′pȯiz·ən ′hem‚läk]
Conium maculatum. A branching biennial poisonous herb that contains a volatile alkaloid, coniine, in its fruits and leaves.