Poison Hemlock in garden?

Asked March 29, 2020, 11:13 PM EDT

Hi! I just found what looks like poison hemlock in my raised garden bed. We just moved here in the fall so this is the previous owner’s past crop remnants coming up in the garden. In this bed coming up is arugula, mustard greens, and wormwood. This plant does have a hollow stem but doesn’t smell bad to me as I have heard poison hemlock does. Is there anything else it could be? Thank you so much for your help! Dorothy

Maryland

4 Responses

Hi - It is possible that this is poison hemlock, given the purple blotches and smooth, hollow stem. Queen Anne's lace has a similar appearance but the stems are hairy. This is a good guide to some of the other look-alike plants, https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/72766.html.

It is definitely a weed, not an ornamental plant. I recommend wearing gloves and digging it out.

Christa

Thank you so much for your response. I pulled the plant up by the root and threw it away. Will it have any negative effects on the soil? What if there are small root fragments remaining...would I have to be cautious of other things that may grow in that area? Thank you!

Thank you so much for your response. I pulled the plant up by the root and threw it away. Will it have any negative effects on the soil? What if there are small root fragments remaining...would I have to be cautious of other things that may grow in that area? Thank you!

We can find no evidence that toxins reside in the soil, so removal should be sufficient. If in doubt, you can always plant only non-root crop vegetables in that location in case anything re-sprouts in the area.

Miri