poison hemlock

Poison hemlock- Conium maculatum

Conium maculatum L.

Apiaceae (Carrot family)


MI Status


Life cycle

Biennial, spending year one as a rosette and then growing vertically in year two to produce flowers.


Lacey or finely-dissected leaves (similar to wild carrot, except without hairs on the leaf surfaces)


Erect, hollow, purple spots help distinguish this species from other look-alikes, heights of 6-10 feet during the second year of growth (while flowering) with numerous branches.



Flowers and fruit

White umbelliferous flowers (umbrella like, similar to wild carrot), appear June-August in Michigan, prolific producer of tiny (~2mm), oblong seeds with one flattened side and distinct ribs on the rounded side.




 poison hemlock at beal

Poison hemlock specimen at Beal Botanical Garden


Poison hemlock leaf
Lacey poison hemlock leaf
Andrea Moorman Poison hemlock
Hollow poison hemlock stem. Photo by Andrea Moorman
Purple spots along the stem are a distinguishing characteristic of poison hemlock. Photo by Trisha Maxwell



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