Conium maculatum-Is a HIGHLY POISONOUS herbaceous plant in the carrot family. This is a plant that makes foraging for members of the carrot family extremely dangerous for beginners. By poisonous, I mean drop you dead poison. One mouth full will be the end of you.
Coniine is the compound that is responsible for your demise. It works on the Central Nervous system which in turns prohibits the muscles that allows you to breath from functioning. You will die from respiratory distress. The only chance you have is to be put on a respirator until the effects wear off, which is about 48-72 hrs. The problem is, the poison works as quickly as 30 minutes after ingestion. The poison also effects your Kidneys and can cause Renal failure. If you think you may have ingested some, seek medical attention immediately.
What to look for: A carrot looking leaf pattern. Purple spots or blotches on the hairless stem. The stem is hollow, which unfortunately has resulted in kids using the plant as a straw, leading to death. One of the most common mistakes is to misidentify the plant as Wild Parsley.
Notice the carrot like leaf pattern. Look closely and you can see the purple blotches on the stem. Look at the hallow stem. I thoroughly washed my hands after handling the plant.
I was also very careful not to put my hands in my mouth or in my eyes until after I washed them….twice. Yes, it’s that poisonous.
If you have Poison Hemlock on your property and want to get rid of it, I recommend seeking professional help.