Poison Hemlock

Other names: hemlock, spotted hemlock, poison parsley, california or nebraska fern

Scientific name: Conium maculatum

Common names: Herb Bennet, Spotted Corobane, Musquash Root

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    الشوكران الكبير (ash-shawkaraan al kabeer)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Whole herb, sprouts

Collection: May to october

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 3-15 feet

Actions:  Narcotic, sedative, analgesic, spasmolytic, anti-aphrodisiac

Known Constituents:

Constituents Explained:


It has many branches and the foliage loooks like parsley.  Sometims mistaken for wild carrot. Has a terminal umbel (picture) which at the base has small white flowers.  The branches are lance dshaped (picture) and deflexed.

The stem is smooth and has red streaks.  The taste is bitter and it has a musty or mousy odour.  It is sometimes mistaken for parnsip root, anise seeds, sweet cicely leaves, parsley, fennel, caraway or wild carrot.

Traditional Use:

Every part of the plant is deadly poisonous, particularly the seeds and the white taproot (picture.)  One mouthful is enough to kill an adult. Symptoms begin rapidly and include burning of the mouth and throat, vomitingg, diahrea, nervousness, trembling, dizzy, dilaiton of the pupipls, muscle weakness, parylsis, coldness weakness and slowed heart heart.  Death happens by respiratory paralysis.

Clinical Studies: