Hemlock - Conium maculatum


Medium to tall to 2.5 metres. Hairless. Stems erect, hollow, purple-brown spotted with a whitish bloom. Leaves finely cut. Flowers white 2 mm in umbels with 10 to 20 rays, sepals absent, bracts present.

Similar Species

Other tall white umbellifers with ferny leaves

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

Tall, hollow stem, usually purple-spotted; 2-4 pinnate leaves; bracts and bracteoles; rounded strongly-ridged fruits. 


Damp habitats, ditches, banks, roadside verges, waterside locations.

When to see it

June and July.

Life History

Annual or biennial.

UK Status

Frequent throughout much of Britain, less so in Scotland.

VC55 Status

It is quite frequent in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 258 of the 617 tetrads.

In the current checklist (Jeeves 2011) it is listed as Alien (archaeophyte); locally frequent)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map