Differentiating plants like poison hemlock and Queen Anne’s lace could be challenging. This is because they have many things in common, but they both could cause very severe reactions to our skin when we get close or touch them.
The details that will confirm the difference between these plants are very specific because they look so alike. For example, the poison hemlock is covered in purple/black spots around it, but Queen Anne’s lace usually has a dark flower that grows in the middle but is not always visible.
Although poison hemlock and Queen Anne’s lace look very similar, they are not the same. It is important to tell the difference since it could be harmful to our skin, causing allergic reactions or diseases. In this article, we will go over the main differences for you to be aware of!
What is Poison Hemlock?
This type of plant is very common in the United States as it grows in different country regions and is very abundant. But it can also be very toxic and harmful to all kinds of animals that consume plants and humans when they get close to it. Throughout the world, this type of flower is commonly known in different ways as poison parsley, deadly hemlock, Nebraska fern, and other related terms.
Animals such as horses, cows, swine, and other herbivores have been lethally contaminated after consuming this type of plant. This is why we have to be very careful when we are nearby as it can cause us a severe illness or disease. We can identify them because it has little white flowers growing in clusters developing a green fruit that contains seeds. After these seeds germinate and start to mature, they will begin to turn into a brownish color.
The leaves on the poison hemlock are very delicate and small, almost like parsley. The hollow stem is defined with tiny purple dots around it. They are very common in North America, and you can frequently see them across roads and trails.
Usually, these plants will start to grow during the spring season and will last about two years to develop and could be up to 2 or 3 meters tall. They like to grow around fence lines, irrigation ditches, and other moist waste places.
It is considered to be a Class B type of weed because of the toxicity it contains. In addition, it is closely associated with the carrot family because they like to grow in open areas with direct contact with sunlight and wide-field. Still, they could be very contagious; just eating or touching a small part of this plant could kill people, animals and other species from the wildlife.
All parts of this plant are extremely poisonous and toxic, from its leaves to the stem. Even the dead canes could be dangerous for up to three years. The main parm (which is the stem) will grow during spring with unions of coniine, g-coniceine, and related piperidine alkaloids. People can get sick from using the leaves of this flower since it could be mistaken with parsley or mix them up with anise to make tea.
Because this plant contains powerful chemicals, it can also affect children, causing death and severe skin irritation. This type of plant will sometimes be found in the backyard, where kids love to play, and they could easily confuse it with a regular flower.
The symptoms may appear from twenty minutes up to three hours after consuming it. The higher amount of toxins will depend on how much sun the plant is exposed to. Since the sun is a crucial element for developing all kinds of flowers, providing them with the essentials to grow without any abnormalities. Therefore if the plant is exposed in a very open and wide place, the probabilities of it being very lethal are high.
After eating the plant, you will start to feel sick. It will immediately reflect on your skin and respiratory system, followed by a dilation of the pupils, heartbeat, and dizziness. One of the worst reactions of poison hemlock is that it could cause paralysis of the central nervous system, muscle insensibility. In addition, because of the respiratory issue with someone suffering from asthma or any breathing issues could lead to death.
The reaction could be very similar on animals since they will also lack coordination when moving, nervous trembling, and pupil dilation. Poison Hemlock would also affect their respiratory system causing death. It also can make the animal get into a coma because of the high toxins.
There are currently no specific treatments for this type of infection other than going to the doctor. They will submit a prescription based on the symptoms. The good thing is that it won’t leave any aftereffects, so as long as you follow treatment, everything will be under control.
Queen Anne’s Lace
This flour could also be associated with the wild carrot plants since they originated from Europeans. However, unlike the poison hemlock, you can commonly find dry fields that tend to grow in spaces that have contact with water and in other types of open areas.
The name came from a fashionable trend back in the 18th century because people wanted to recreate a headdress that Queen Anne was wearing. She then challenges all of the ladies who wanted to copy this outfit to see if they could play a similar piece to the flower of the headdress she was wearing.
When getting near this type of flower, you will instantly smell carrots because they are under the same species. This is because they were started to be cultivated by the personas. The way they used to differentiate them was because of the seeds and leaves instead of their root.
Unlike poison hemlock, these plants are edible, and you can eat them like a carrot. The flowers that grow on it could be used for teas, cooking, seasoning, or adding flavor when cooking. However, some people could be allergic to their leaves because of the particles they contain, but they are not meant to be toxic in any way.
What this plant does is that it can produce a strong taproot that could be edible, preferably when they are young, with a biennial flower attached to it that then dies. The seeds start to grown like brownish colors as well, and it can be produced at the end of the flower stalk that then would be
disseminated and fall over time.
This plant is also used as a beneficial weed in places like Wisconsin for a companion plant to crops and wasps since they attract many insects, preventing other plants from dying. In other regions of the United States, this is mainly used for cooking and serious pest pastures. The taste of it is very similar to carrots.
This herb can grow up to 1 to 4 feet high with tiny white flowers around, which will usually develop from spring to fall. It is commonly roughly hairy, with a stiff, solid stem. The leaves are finely divided and lacy with a triangular shape.
Poison Hemlock vs. Queen Anne’s Lace: A Summary
One of the differences that we could find is that poison hemlock’s stem looks more hairless and has many tiny purple dots with the same pattern. In contrast, Queen Anne’s lace does not have any of these qualities.
To establish a clear difference, we can say that Queen Anne’s lace smells like carrots and could be quickly eaten. In contrast, the poison hemlock smells extremely bad, and there’s nothing unusual when they are found.
Although both plants look very alike since they both grow with an umbrella-like pattern, the poison hemlock plant will appear in several compound umbels that could look like tiny umbrellas. Queen Anne’s lace grows purple or blue red flowers and a wider taproot.
So next time you are walking on a roadside and see one of these, try not to get too close and lock which one could have purple dots and be dangerous and which one has a flower growing in the middle for spring. If you are under the second one, you should be safe!