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Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed

Full Growth Leaf Leaf2 Flower Purpling Of Stem Purple Stem2

Conium maculatum - Poison-Hemlock

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Family Name: Apiaceae

Common Names: Poison-Hemlock, Deadly Hemlock, Poison Parsley

Origin: Not Native to California

Notes and Rarity Levels (if applicable, see "About This Project" for explainations of rankings): Invasive Weed, introduced from Europe

Habitat: Disturbed locations, generally moist areas. Mostly below 1000 m.

Life Form and Duration: Biennial Herb, 0.5-3 m

Comments on overall growth: Single stem, erect, smooth, hollow, purple streaked or spotted. Taprooted.

Foliage Description: Leaves 15-30 cm long, widely ovate, generally twice pinnate, finely divided much like a fern frond.

Infloresence Description: Flowers in compound umbels.

Flower Description: Flowers lacking sepals. Petals yellowish to greenish-white to white, small, wide with narrowed tips. Flowers with faint unpleasant odor

Flowering Season: March-September

Fruit Description: Ovate, 2-3 mm wide, with bumpy ribs running along length.

Edibility: Highly toxic, contains alkaloids which causes death, concentrated in roots and fruits though is found throughout the plant.

Other Comments: An infusion of Poison Hemlock was given to Socrates when he was condemned to death.