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Page contains copy of older legitimate text from before addition of copyvio material on Conium. -- MPF

"Biochemistry" section contains directly plagiarized content from the abstract of López TA, Cid MS, Bianchini ML, "Biochemistry of hemlock (Conium maculatum L.) alkaloids and their acute and chronic toxicity in livestock. A review," Toxicon 1999 Jun;37(6):841-65, viewable view PubMed. Doug downs (talk) 17:03, 27 May 2013 (UTC)


Can Hemlock really cross-pollinate with other Apiaceae to produce hybrids? I've heard of this occuring with some of the edible Apiaceae, so it seems reasonable for it to occur with Hemlock as well. However I can't seem to find a good reference either way.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Pjf (talkcontribs).

I have read that it can cross so use extreme caution and do careful research if you are gardening and know that you have poison hemlock.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).
Usually plants need to be in at least the same genus to produce hybrids. If it were possible I think it would be well known and I can't find anything about it on Google. --Calibas 00:56, 30 April 2007 (UTC)


I wonder if there should be additional cautionary text about handling poison hemlock and water hemlock. I've heard reports of kids being poisoned by using the hollow stems of dead poison hemlock stalks to make wood flutes. It remains toxic for a couple of years after its death.

Poison hemlock is surprisingly easy to find if you know what to look for. If you live in an area where it is endemic (I do), be very careful if somone offers you a dish with some "wild parsley" that they picked.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

How can I get rid of it?[edit]

We live on a farm with cattle. Can they get sick from eating it? Should I cut it down or spay it with Round Up?—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

Plenty of the parts are toxic, so it would be best to rid it as best as you can or keep all your livestock and family members away from the area. If you choose the first, try to remove all parts, including the roots so there is a smaller chance of it coming back. If you choose the latter, put a small fence up.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sailor of the Devil's Mercury (talkcontribs). 23:25, 6 October 2006
That comment was quite a while ago, but in case anyone is interested... No, it's not quite as bad as that for cattle. Generally they don't eat the most poisonous plants, but they will eat some Conium. However, they have to eat quite a lot of it be poisoned, and they usually dilute it with other stuff and so avoid poisoning. We have a lot in some of our fields, and our cattle do eat it regularly – we've never had any poisoning. I would only worry where Conium was the only thing they had to eat, so they'd be forced to eat that and nothing else. Apparently as well as direct toxicity, in early pregnancy the toxin can cause birth defects – though again, we've never had that problem. So, unless there is nothing but Conium, I wouldn't bother to get rid of it as the cattle will do that in time. Mowing the flowering plants does work well though – you need to do it two years running, as it's a biennial and the first-year non-flowering rosettes are too short to mow. Once removed from pasture it'll stay gone – Conium does not grow well in well-managed pasture as it's a weed of disturbed ground. Richard New Forest (talk) 10:06, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

This page (currently called Conium) is almost entirely about the more widespread of the two species, Conium maculatum. It seems to me that it would be better to move the page wholesale to Conium maculatum. The very small amount of material on the genus as a whole would then become a stub back at Conium.

There is still discussion about whether to use common or scientific names as article titles for plants (see Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (flora)). In this instance I can't see how anything but the scientific name would do, as there are several other plants commonly called "hemlock", and indeed this plant is often called other things. Richard New Forest (talk) 10:23, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

  • Split This would be better handled as a split. Seedless Maple (talk) 10:15, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
That would indeed end up with the same articles as my proposal: we now have Conium, and with either a move or a split we end up with Conium maculatum and a stub Conium. The only difference is where the edit history ends up – I suggested a move rather than a split because the material is almost all Conium maculatum, and with a move the edit history for that material would follow the material and so remain attached to it. Richard New Forest (talk) 10:57, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Richard that a move would be better. The end result would be the same, except that the edit history would stay with the more appropriate article, given its contents.--Curtis Clark (talk) 15:16, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Richard and Curtis. Move to C. maculatum and write up a Conium stub. Splitting would part hemlock from its edit history. Totnesmartin (talk) 17:03, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment. Some sources list 4 (Flora of Pakistan) or 6 (Flora of China) species instead of two. If the discrepency is because opinions vary about splitting versus lumping, this might be an argument about keeping everything in one article (this seems to work well at Conoclinium and Littorella, in my opinion, and might be considered for Chelone (plant) and other small genera with lumping/splitting controversies, or where new evidence calls into question a traditional division into species). Advantages are that it wouldn't be necessary to try to figure out what to duplicate between Conium and Conium maculatum. Disadvantages are that it would often be hard to know whether a particular fact applies to the less-written-about species as well as the well-known one. (A somewhat-separate issue is whether to create articles for all the lesser-known species; at least at the moment at Chelone (plant) there is an article for C. glabra but not for the others, for whatever that is worth). Kingdon (talk) 18:47, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't think this is any different from most genera. We usually have an article for the genus which mentions at least the major species. Major species have their own articles linked from the genus, often with "main article" tags. Minor species lurk quietly in the genus article until someone gets around to writing an article for them. Richard New Forest (talk) 21:37, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
That's workable. Worst case is that we need to reorganize again later as the articles grow. One example where I'd definitely like to see some kind of split between genus and species is Stevia. I've been scared to propose it, and not sure which one should be at the name Stevia (which has also become a common name for the sweet species of cultivation, Stevia rebaudiana). Kingdon (talk) 16:35, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Can we try to come to a consensus? I don't think anyone disagrees that some change is appropriate – can we decide what to do? Options so far:

  • Leave as is. No supporters, I think.
  • Split. Still supported by Seedless Maple?
  • Move, plus new stub at Conium. Supported by me, Totnesmartin, Curtis Clark.

Not clear what option Kingdon supports. More thoughts? Richard New Forest (talk) 17:08, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Oh, I guess I weakly support "leave as is", but it may be necessary to get more opinions (for example, by asking at WT:PLANTS). Kingdon (talk) 15:14, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Conium vs. Fennel[edit]

Though the smell test is good, fennel has wire-like leaves clearly different from hemlock. You'd rather mix up hemlock with Wild Carrots or Anthriscus, or Fennel with Anise or Dill. -- (talk) 15:12, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

In film[edit]

I included a youtube reference of 1958 Soviet film, as I believe it is a public domain now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tigerjojo98 (talkcontribs) 22:29, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

Biological (Pharmacology/Toxicology) Properties[edit]

The Section entitled "Biochemistry" is a bit of a mess. The subsection on livestock poisoning is lifted verbatim from a review paper in Toxicon by Lopez et al. Alkaloid isolation details don't belong under "Biochemistry" (nor do Toxicological details, for that matter). I plan to clean this up if noone else volunteers. Xprofj (talk) 14:12, 4 June 2012 (UTC)