poison hemlock

poison hemlock
hemlock (defs. 1, 3).
[1810-20, Amer.]

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Any of several poisonous herbaceous plants of the parsley family, especially Conium maculatum, believed to be the plant that killed Socrates.

It is now common in the U.S. as well as in Europe. A tall biennial, this plant has green stems spotted with red or purple, large compound leaves, and white flowers. Though the poison is concentrated in the seeds, the entire plant is dangerous to livestock when fresh. Despite their common name, poison hemlocks are not conifers (see hemlock). Water hemlocks (Cicuta species) are similar and also dangerous.

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plant
 any of several poisonous herbaceous plants but especially Conium maculatum, which, according to tradition, was the plant used to kill Socrates. The water hemlocks (water hemlock) (Cicuta species) are similar and also dangerous. They are members of the parsley family (Apiaceae). Conium maculatum is a tall biennial (living for two years) with green stems spotted with red or purple, large compound leaves, and white flowers. Coniine, the poison, is concentrated in the seeds, though the entire plant is dangerous to livestock when fresh. Of the water hemlocks, the European Cicuta virosa is perhaps the best known; it is a tall perennial herb that grows in marshy areas and is a deadly poison. The American Cicuta maculata, known as musquash root, or beaver poison, has potato-like tubers with a pleasant odour; the tubers as well as the leaves are poisonous. It grows to about 2.5 m (8 feet) and has divided leaves and clusters of white flowers resembling those of some nonpoisonous plants in the family.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Poison hemlock — Poison Poi son, n. [F. poison, in Old French also, a potion, fr. L. potio a drink, draught, potion, a poisonous draught, fr. potare to drink. See {Potable}, and cf. {Potion}.] 1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poison hemlock — n 1) a large branching biennial poisonous herb of the genus Conium (C. maculatum) with finely divided leaves and white flowers 2) WATER HEMLOCK * * * Conium maculatum, a large herb that contains the poisonous alkaloid coniine; animals that eat it …   Medical dictionary

  • poison hemlock — ☆ poison hemlock n. HEMLOCK (sense 1) …   English World dictionary

  • poison hemlock — noun large branching biennial herb native to Eurasia and Africa and adventive in North America having large fernlike leaves and white flowers; usually found in damp habitats; all parts extremely poisonous • Syn: ↑hemlock, ↑poison parsley,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • poison-hemlock — dėmėtoji mauda statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Salierinių šeimos vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Conium maculatum), paplitęs Europoje, šiaurės Afrikoje ir Azijoje. atitikmenys: lot. Conium maculatum angl. carrot fern; fool s parsley; hemlock;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • poison hemlock — poi′son hem′lock n. pln hemlock 1), hemlock 3) • Etymology: 1810–20, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • poison hemlock — noun Date: circa 1818 a large European biennial poisonous herb (Conium maculatum) of the carrot family that is naturalized in the United States and has finely divided leaves and small white flowers compare water hemlock …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Poison — Poi son, n. [F. poison, in Old French also, a potion, fr. L. potio a drink, draught, potion, a poisonous draught, fr. potare to drink. See {Potable}, and cf. {Potion}.] 1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Poison ash — Poison Poi son, n. [F. poison, in Old French also, a potion, fr. L. potio a drink, draught, potion, a poisonous draught, fr. potare to drink. See {Potable}, and cf. {Potion}.] 1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • poison ash — Poison Poi son, n. [F. poison, in Old French also, a potion, fr. L. potio a drink, draught, potion, a poisonous draught, fr. potare to drink. See {Potable}, and cf. {Potion}.] 1. Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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