WILDFLOWERS OF NEW MEXICO

 

Erect, many-branched stems can reach 10-feet tall with reddish-purple spots or streaks, and leaves that look like a giant parsley. Note the spotted stem, umbrella-shaped clusters of tiny, white flowers, and wet  habitat. Introduced from Europe, widely naturalized. 


NOTE: All parts of this robust, water-loving plant are DEADLY POISONOUS, especially the stem and leaves. Even skin contact can cause dizziness and nausea; eating can cause central nervous system failure.


FLOWERS: May–August. Umbrella-shaped clusters (umbels) with radiating rays, each ray tipped with a smaller, round umbel of tiny, white flowers with 5 petals. Note the smaller flower umbels have several tiny, lance-shaped, leaf-like bracts at the base of the rays.


LEAVES: Alternate. Blades 8–16-inches long, pinnately compound, usually divided 2–4 times; leaflets glossy green, oval, divided parsley-like, deeply toothed, 1/4–3/8 inch (4–10 mm) long.


HABITAT: Stream and ditch banks, wetlands, disturbed areas; moist soils.


ELEVATION: 4,000–9,000 feet.


RANGE: Naturalized throughout west and mid-west to Atlantic.


SIMILAR SPECIES: Water Hemlock, Cicuta maculata, has compound but not parsley-like leaves. Oshá, Ligusticum porteri, does not have stems with purple spots, or tiny leaf-like bracts beneath the smaller flowering umbels. Parsnip, Pastinaca sativa, has yellow flowers.


NM COUNTIES: Scattered across NM in mid- to high-elevation, moist habitats: Bernalillo, Catron, Colfax, Grant, Lincoln, McKinley, Mora, Otero, Sandoval, San Miguel, Taos, Union.

POISON  HEMLOCK

CONIUM  MACULATUM

Parsley Family, Apiaceae

Biennial herb, introduced, naturalized

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Range Map for

Conium maculatum

• Compound leaf midrib (lower arrow).

• Compound leaflet midrib (upper arrow).

• Toothed segments along leaflet midrib (middle arrow).

Tiny, leaf-like bracts beneath the flowering umbel (arrows).

Stem with reddish-purple splotches.

Introduced species, naturalized.

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