|Ladybug on a hemlock flower|
|How to tell plants from very far away: |
#1 the Hemlock
Lots of people think that hemlock is a tree, and there is a conifer called the hemlock, but that's not where the famous (or infamous?) poison comes from. Instead it comes from this plant in the carrot family. Poison hemlock has lacy, almost fern-like leaves just like a carrot's, but it grows up to 8 feet tall. It really does look like a giant carrot plant. I would not recommend eating the root, though, as it is poisonous, too.
According to literature online, the poison works by paralyzing the muscles that keep you breathing, so you basically suffocate. The antidote is to get in an iron lung or respirator or something that will artificially keep you breathing until the effects wear off in a few days.