More accurately called poison hemlock, this plant could show up in your garden and you need to recognize it. It starts out looking somewhat like a wonky carrot then morphs into a parsley going to seed. Its one distinctive feature is the main stem which is tinged in purple and has lighter splotches on it. All parts of the plant are poisonous but the seeds especially so. It was the poison of choice to execute criminals in ancient Greece and the most famous “criminal” was Socrates who drank the potion and died. If you find one growing in your yard (as I did), I suggest putting a trash bag over it and pulling it up, handling it only by the bag. There is a hemlock tree but this plant is not a tree. BEWARE. There is a Hemlock society with members who believe they have a right to die with dignity. It’s known today by a different name.
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