foraging food




Toxic plants can be dangerous to humans and animals if ingested. The danger lies in the ease of confusion between toxic plants and edible plants or fungi. Many toxic plants may have identifying characteristics that are similar to forageable plants, making identification difficult. For example, poisonous hemlock can be hard to distinguish from wild carrot, while deadly nightshade looks similar to edible blackberries. The dangers of consuming toxic plants include severe gastrointestinal issues, seizures, hallucinations, and even death. It is important to research any plants or fungi that you intend to consume, consult with an expert, or attend a foraging workshop before embarking on a foraging expedition. Remember to take extra precautions when foraging with children, who may be more likely to put unknown items in their mouths. Always err on the side of caution when in doubt about a plant’s edibility.

Conium maculatum blad
Conium maculatum. Mexacán
Conium maculatum 007

poison hemlock



Scientific Name: Conium maculatum

other names: hemlock, Καμπουδκιά, Κώνειο



The flower and leaf morphology description can be used for the edible plants below

It can be difficult to distinguish poison hemlock from other edible plants

extra info

All parts of the Hemlock plant are highly toxic and are poisonous to all mammals and other animals that eat it. Even touching the plant can cause symptoms.

The seeds and roots are more toxic than the leaves and the whole plant becomes most poisonous in the spring when the concentration of toxins is at its peak.

Ingesting around six to eight hemlock leaves can be fatal for adult humans. The symptoms begin around 30 minutes after ingesting with a narcotic-like effect, making the victim sleep or lose consciousness, trembling, dilation of pupils, weak pulse, convulsions and coma. Muscular paralysis leading to paralysis of the respiratory muscles causes death from oxygen deprivation. Artificial ventilation can be used to keep the victim alive until the effects have worn off 48–72 hours later.

poison hemlock can be confused with these edible plants:

wild celery



Ammi majus

Ammi majus sl1

Smyrnium olusatrum

Smyrnium olusatrum Shrewsbury


Apium graveolens

Celery (2905891576)


Petroselinum crispum

Petroselinum crispum 003


Coriandrum sativum


wild carrot

Daucus carota

Daucus carota

Erodium cicutarium

Erodium cicutarium 3246

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