Common name: Hemlock

Scientific name: Conium maculatum

Hazard associated: Deadly poison if ingested.

stem of hemlock plant

  • Hemlock is extremely poisonous. It was used to execute people in ancient Greece (Socrates is the most famous example).
  • It is found across multiple continents due to its weedy characteristics.
  • Hemlock is in the same family as the wild carrot and two species may be confused at times.
Wild carrot
Daucus carota
Conium maculatum
Smells carrotyHas a rank, musty smell
Hairy green stemsSmooth green stems with purple or reddish stripes or patches
Has a central purplish red flower in the middle of the white flowers.
wild carrot flower with arrow to highlight red centre
Uniformly white flowers

See http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Identify-Queen-Annes-Lace-Wild-Carrot for more details about the differences

Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conium_maculatum