Readers ask: What Does Poison Hemlock Smell Like?

Poison hemlock often has a bad smell described as like “mouse urine” or “musty”. The naturally occurring poisons, most notably coniine, are in all parts of the plant.

Does poison hemlock smell?

The weed can easily be identified by the purple spots on its stems (see photo below) and by its finely divided leaves which resemble wild carrot (also commonly referred to as Queen Anne’s lace). Poison hemlock has a musty smell, while the leaves often have a unique parsley smell when they are crushed.

Does poison hemlock smell like licorice?

Poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) resembles fennel. Both are originally from Europe, are naturalized in California and grow in similar places. Fennel has a definite licorice scent but no purple spots on the stalks; poison hemlock does not smell of licorice and does have purple blotches.

Does hemlock smell like dill?

Poison hemlock often has a bad smell described as like “mouse urine” or “musty” when the plant is crushed. The naturally occurring poisons, most notably coniine, are in all parts of the plant. Poison hemlock belongs to the same plant family (Apiaceae) as carrots, parsnips, fennel, and dill.

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How do you identify poison hemlock?

Poison-hemlock stems have reddish or purple spots and streaks, are not hairy, and are hollow. Leaves are bright green, fern-like, finely divided, toothed on edges and have a strong musty odor when crushed. Flowers are tiny, white and arranged in small, umbrella-shaped clusters on ends of branched stems.

Do hemlock trees have a smell?

This tree is also known as the Canada Hemlock or Hemlock Spruce. It is a member of the pine family. The common name “hemlock” was reportedly given because the crushed foliage smells a little like that of the poisonous herb hemlock, which is native to Europe.

What does water hemlock smell like?

Spotted water hemlock, when cut, emits a strong parsley-carrot odor.

How do you tell hemlock from cow parsley?

Whilst cow parsley often has a pinkish hue to the stem, hemlock has very distinctive purple blotches on a green stem. Make sure that you check the stem at ground level, this seems to be where the blotchiness often occurs. Cow parsley is slightly hairy, hemlock has smooth stems.

What does bronze fennel smell like?

Slightly aromatic, the featherlike leaves of bronze fennel smell like a mixture of carrots and licorice.

What plant smells like black licorice?

If it smells like licorice, you’ve got wild fennel. The plant sends up four or five smooth stalks which are hollow with a white pith. The leaves are feathery and fluffy poofs, finely divided linear foliage that look a lot like dill. Flowers bloom in large flat umbels of golden yellow tiny little flowers.

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Does Hemlock smell like parsley?

Hemlock has rounded leaf stems, though these do form sheaths near their base. Cow parsley leaves smell of parsley if you crush them in your fingers. Hemlock leaves smell a bit unpleasant – a little acrid/ammoniac (often described as “of mouse pee”, though I doubt many people know the smell of mouse pee nowadays!).

How can you tell the difference between Hemlock and Queen Anne’s lace?

The stems of both poison-hemlock and Queen Anne’s lace are hollow, but poison-hemlock will have small purple spots all over it stem, according to the USDA. Queen Anne’s lace has no purple spots and is hairy, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

Is Hemlock poisonous to the touch?

The poison hemlock (Conium maculatum L.) is a dangerous plant that grows throughout the United States. Even touching this plant may cause a skin reaction in some people. To date, there is no antidote. The leaves are particularly poisonous in the spring, up until it produces flowers.

What else looks like poison hemlock?

There are many plants that look similar to poison hemlock including fennel, chervil, anise, coltsfoot and wild carrot. The most distinctive feature of poison hemlock is that the entire plant is hairless. In contrast, the look-a-likes have hair somewhere on the plant such as the stem or leaf surfaces.

What kills poison hemlock?

Herbicides containing glyphosate are effective in killing poison hemlock. The best time to spray is when the leaves are just a basil rosette and before the plant forms flowers. The plants may regerminate and require follow-up control.

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Should poison hemlock be reported?

Poison hemlock is an invasive species on the Prohibited Eradicate List. The plant must be destroyed and transportation, propagation, or sale of these plants is prohibited. Poison hemlock should be reported. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture monitors this invasive species.

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