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Very scary

last Autumn I transplanted a small seedling that was pretty and put it under my robinia tree. Now it has Dark green shiny, ferny foliage, lovely robust growth, My quess was a welcome cow parsley. On inspection it was too strong and colour too dark So started looking round for identification. Hemlock was the answer. Where it came from , no idea, where it's going, my bin for burning.  Take care, it could happen in your garden.



  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    Is it dangerous as a plant?  I know it's toxic, but you don't have to eat it!

    (Mind you, it didn't do Socrates or Hamlet's dad any good...  a drowsy numbness pains my sense,,,)

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Better not to take any chances if children visit your garden. It isn't very pretty once it grows big, either. There are lots of harmless, prettier similar plants to be had so the bin is probably the best place. Never mind!

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    Monkshood is much nicer, still poisonous though.

    I can never tell hemlock from cow parsley. The local herbalist (who has a degree in herbalism and is a university lecturer) says you really cannot tell hemlock from cow parsley and they can both sometimes be just green or have purple spots.

  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    P,S Do you have a picture of it, I'd be interested as I've never seen one I don't think.

  • Sorry, it is now squashed in the bin. There are plenty of web sites that give you all the info on what to look for. The leaves are very robust and tough looking, dark green. the stems are not ribbed as cow parsley and there is staining of dark maroon up the stem in bloches not a purple flush. The stem when cut has larger hollow, in cow parsley its thicker with small hollow. I'm told they are very poisonous.

  • darren636darren636 Posts: 666
    Lots of things are poisonous.





  • BluebelleBluebelle Posts: 28

    I'd include anything labelled 'talent show' in there too.  Frightens the life out of me. 

  • Steve 309Steve 309 Posts: 2,753

    I thought Opportunity Knocks was quite good.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,609

    A very important, cardiac drug, is also made from foxgloves, Digoxin.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 14,609

    Hi Philippa.

    As you say very rare for garden plants to poison you, unless you deliberately set out to eat them.

    Aconitum is well known to be poisonous, and dire warnings are given out about handling it, etc. However I have grown it for years, often forget to wear gloves, and appear to still be alive. Ground up and added to food, I believe it has been used to kill people.

    The toxic / poisonous issue is difficult. Many very useful drugs are toxic, in fact we often used to say that any truly effective drug, was always toxic to some part of the body.

    I have always regarded poisonous as being used for a substance that has no beneficial uses, and can cause harm.

    However that is a guess.

    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
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