Poison Hemlock
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Poison Hemlock
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Poison Hemlock, Hemlock, Devil's porridge, Beaver Poison, Herb Bennet • Tamil: Koniyam, Enneyccokki
Botanical name: Conium maculatum    Family: Apiaceae (Carrot family)

Poison Hemlock is a tall, much branched and gracefully growing plant, with elegantly-cut foliage and white flowers. It is a biennial herb growing up to 1.5–2.5 m tall, with a smooth green stem, usually spotted or streaked with red or purple on the lower half. Leaves are finely divided and lacy, overall triangular in shape, up to 50 cm long and 40 cm broad. Flowers are small, white, clustered in umbels up to 10-15 cm across. When crushed, the leaves and root emit an unpleasant odor, sometimes compared to that of parsnips or mice. In India it is mostly found in Jammu and Kashmir. It is also cultivated for use in homeopathy.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh
Photographed in Kashmir.
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