• Conium maculatum ‘Poison Hemlock’ [Ex. Tyne & Wear, England] 200+ SEEDS


    Conium maculatum 

    'Poison Hemlock'

    [Ex. Tyne & Wear, England]

    Apiaceae: A highly poisonous biennial growing to 2m by 1m. Found on waste ground, roadside and laybys, and in damp places, avoiding acid soils and heavy shade. Flowering from June to July, stems or spotted or streaked with red or purple, leaves are finely divided and lacy, overall triangular, up to 50cm long and 40cm broad. The flowers are small, white, clustered in umbels up to 10–15cm across, when crushed, the leaves and root emit an unpleasant odour. Native to Europe, including Britain, from Norway and Finland south and east to North Africa and Iran.



    Poison hemlock has been used as a sedative and for its antispasmodic properties, it was also used by Greek and Persian physicians for a variety of problems, such as arthritis, it was not always effective, however, as the difference between therapeutic and toxic amounts is very slight, overdoses can produce paralysis and loss of speech, followed by depression of the respiratory function, and then death. This is the plant that Socrates is said to have used to kill himself, though this is probably an error, it requires a large dose if it is to be lethal (this contradicts with the notes above on toxicity, and death from this plant can be very painful whilst Socrates is said to have died without pain).



    Seed is best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in the late summer, it usually germinates in the autumn and flowers the next summer. Succeeds in most soils in sun or light shade and avoids acid soils in the wild, it prefers a damp rich soil.



    HARVESTED: 2022

    APPROX. 200+ SEEDS