Poison Hemlock?

Asked March 4, 2020, 4:09 PM EST

We have a lot of Queen Anne's Lace, but I found this today and it looks different. Is it poison hemlock? The stalks are hollow. If it is, do I just pull it and toss it? It was about six inches from one of my blueberry plants. I have found no others, but do I need to be concerned about contamination? Thanks!

Washington County Oregon

2 Responses

Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum, isn't going to contaminate plants around it.
Is this poison hemlock? I'm not sure. I wish it were easier to identify young plants, and it's an additional challenge when using only photos. I'll say that this might be poison hemlock, so to carefully dispose of it is a conservative and safe choice.
This publication from Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, about giant hogweed look-a-likes is a favorite resource of mine when considering these similar-looking and worrisome plants. https://www.maine.gov/dacf/php/horticulture/hogweedlookalikes.shtml

Yes, I agree that it's poison hemlock. Here is a good site to compare between the "look-alikes." I'm very glad to see that you are wearing gloves! VERY DANGEROUS PLANT! Your blueberry plant is fine, but you will want to watch carefully to see if other poison hemlock seedlings pop up.

This is from The WA State Noxious Weed Board:

How Do I Control It?

General control strategy

Always wear gloves and protective clothing if handling poison hemlock as all parts of this plant are toxic. Do not burn plants due to the toxins within plant parts. Also, due to the plants toxicity, do not allow animals to graze live or dead poison hemlock plants

Mechanical Control

Digging up small infestations and removing the entire taproot is effective. Mowing is ineffective as plants will re-sprout, sending up new stalks in the same season mowing occurs. Toxins will remain potent in dried plant material. Never put pulled plants in the compost or leave them where children or livestock might eat them. Removed pulled plants from site, bag and put in the trash. Monitor sites for resprouts and seedlings as seeds will readily germinate on disturbed ground.