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Hemlock ( Conium maculatum)


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Hemlock just coming into flower. A very poisonous plant that contains alkaloid chemicals including coniine. It was used for executions in ancient Greece and it was a cup of hemlock that Socrates drank after his trial. All parts of the plant are poisonous but particularly the seeds. It resembles many harmless parsleys but can be identified by its smooth purple blotched stem and foetid smell. Male and female flowers are on separate flower heads. The flower heads are borne on side branches at the end of the stem. It can grow up to 84 inches (210cm) and flowers June-July often in large masses by roads and streams. Picture taken near Bedford 7th June 2006.

7th Jun 2006 by Diane Earl

Biology, Science

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Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 4+

plant flower wildlife

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