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Purple Spotted Stem of Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Photo of Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

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Taken on May. 11, 2017

This photo shows the purple, spotted stem that is one of the key ID characteristics of poison hemlock (Conium maculatum). This plant, which is invasive in North America, is among the most poisonous plants to humans. It also looks dangerously like several edible plants, such as parsley (the leaves) and parsnip (the root.)

The purple-spotted stems are an easy way to tell this plant apart from most edible lookalikes; thankfully, however, it also has a foul aroma to deter people from accidentally eating it.


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