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Where Does Poison Hemlock Grow?

Often confused with Wild Carrots, Poison Hemlock dares to grow and reign as an invasive species in most places.

In general, Poison Hemlock can grow in open sunny areas with accessible water resources in most states of the U.S. However, they are more prevalent in western regions of the country as the climate suits their optimal growth.

Thus, read on to discover where Poison Hemlock grows the most and how to identify them so that you can get rid of them properly.

What Does Poison Hemlock Look Like?

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is a toxic biennial herbaceous plant native to Europe, Northern America, and Western Asia.

Staying true to its name, Poison Hemlock is a class B obnoxious weed belonging to the Carrot family, Apiaceae.

As they look like non-toxic weeds like Cow Parsnip and Wild Carrot, proper identification is crucial to avoid poisoning.

Remember, even direct skin contact with Poison Hemlock can induce skin allergies, whilst ingestion is fatal.

poison hemlock
Poison Hemlock can grow relatively faster, and with rapid seed germination, they can spread and take over the place easily.

Poison Hemlock is a herbaceous plant that can grow up to six feet (1.8 meters) tall but may grow taller under ideal conditions.

They have fern-like feathery, finely divided leaves on top of hairless, hollow stems with purple spots or blotches.

As younger Poison Hemlock plants look similar to Carrot plants, hairless stems tell them apart.

Likewise, they have 2-5 inches wide white compound flowers with 8-16 umbellets at the ends of stems.

Meanwhile, Poison Hemlock blooms in late spring, usually June and July, with musty, unpleasant-smelling flowers.

Where Does Poison Hemlock Grow in The USA?

Poison Hemlock is a sturdy plant that adapts to various growing conditions and shares invasive nature.

They thrive in open areas where the sun shines the most, featuring nutrient-rich sandy loam soil.

Thus, meadows, roadsides, ditches, or disturbed areas with easier access to moisture are the common places where Poison Hemlock thrives the most.

Likewise, being native to North America, Poison Hemlock can be found in most states in the U.S.

Furthermore, Poison Hemlock grows more in the western regions of the U.S., like California, Ohio, Washington, etc.

Albeit less prevalent, they can grow in states like Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Michigan, and so on.

Moreover, besides the U.S., you can find Poison Hemlock growing in some regions of Canada and the U.K.

Nevertheless, the invasive nature with the legit sturdiness of Poison Hemlock allows them to grow in any place with little moisture.

How to Get Rid of Poison Hemlock?

Unlike other weeds, a careful strategic removal approach is necessary to eliminate poisonous Poison Hemlock.

Furthermore, you must not mow Poison Hemlock as one might inhale the plant particles, putting themselves at risk of poisoning.

Thus, getting rid of Poison Hemlock is tedious and requires extensive caution.

Nonetheless, here is a manual and chemical way to remove and get rid of Poison Hemlock for good.

But before starting, wear safety gear like gloves, masks, and gardening glasses.

  • Dig up the entire plant using shovels and discard them somewhere safe.
  • Ensure to dig out plants in late spring before flowering kicks in for optimal results.
  • Even if you are late, inhibit Poison Hemlock seed germination by adding a thick layer of mulch.
  • Abstain from burying flower heads in the ground as it can give birth to newer plants.
  • If the Poison Hemlock invasion is severe, resort to chemical approaches by spraying herbicides.
  • Aim to spray herbicides in late summer while following proper directions to control and manage the spread of Poison Hemlock.

Editor’s Note

Do Not Touch Poison Hemlock With Bare Hands!

Touching Poison Hemlock without wearing gloves may result in itchy rashes and can trigger severe skin allergies if you have sensitive skin.

Thus, please do not go near any wild plants that you can not identify by the looks of them, let alone touch them.

All The Best!