Poison hemlock, also known as conium maculatum, may be one of the most toxic plants in the world. Once ingested, it shuts down your respiratory system and eventually stops your heart from beating. If you want to learn about this extremely poisonous plant and how to identify it, keep reading!
What is it?
Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) is a member of the carrot family. It is a biennial herb that can grow up to six feet tall. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the leaves and seeds contain the most poison. When crushed or chewed, these leaves and seeds release a dangerous toxin. If eaten, this toxin will block messages from being sent from the brain to other organs-such as the heart-which can lead to death by paralysis. There have been cases where children have found poison hemlock while exploring an area and mistakenly eat it because they thought it was an edible plant like parsley or lettuce.
does it grow?
Where Poison hemlock is a member of the carrot family and can be found growing throughout North America. It’s a biennial plant, meaning it takes two years to complete its life cycle. In its first year, poison hemlock grows as a rosette of large, flat leaves close to the ground. The second year, it sends up a tall flowering stem that can reach up to six feet in height.
Is it safe to eat wild plants?
No, it is not safe to eat wild plants. Some plants, like poison ivy and poison oak, can cause skin irritation. Others, like poison sumac, can cause an allergic reaction. And then there are plants like poison hemlock that can be deadly.
How do you treat poisoning from this plant?
If you think you or someone else has been poisoned by poison hemlock, call your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Do not wait for symptoms to appear. The toxin blocks a key chemical (acetylcholine) that nerves need to function and can cause life-threatening paralysis. The toxins are destroyed by stomach acid, so it is safe to induce vomiting if done within an hour of ingestion; however, activated charcoal is more effective and should be given instead if available. There is no antidote available; therefore doctors must make sure a person can breathe and get adequate oxygen as soon as possible after exposure.
Is poison hemlock poisonous to the touch?
No, poison hemlock is not poisonous to the touch. However, all parts of the plant are poisonous if ingested, and contact with the skin can cause irritation. Yes, poison hemlock is poisonous to the touch. All parts of the plant are poisonous, and contact with any part of the plant can cause skin irritation. If ingested, poison hemlock can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, it can cause seizures and even death.
Is hemlock poisonous to humans?
Hemlock is a plant that is poisonous to humans and animals if ingested. All parts of the plant are poisonous, but the leaves and seeds are the most toxic. Symptoms of hemlock poisoning include nausea, vomiting, seizures, and respiratory failure. Hemlock poisoning is fatal in humans if left untreated. Treatment for hemlock poisoning includes immediate medical attention and supportive care.
If you’re ever hiking and come across a plant that looks like poison hemlock, don’t touch it! This plant is incredibly poisonous, and just touching it can cause skin irritation. If ingested, poison hemlock can cause serious health problems including paralysis and death. So how does this plant get its name? Well, poison hemlock is actually in the same family as true hemlocks, which are not poisonous. But don’t let that fool you – if you see poison hemlock, stay away!