Electronic Flora of South Australia
Electronic Flora of South Australia
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Electronic Flora of South Australia species Fact Sheet

Family: Umbelliferae
Conium maculatum

Citation: L., Sp. Pl. 243 (1753).

Synonymy: Not Applicable

Common name: Hemlock.

Erect glabrous biennial, 1-2.5 m high, with a pale-green or glaucous purple-spotted striate hollow stem; leaves 2-4-pinnate, triangular, to 50 cm long, c. 40 cm broad, glabrous; lobes oblong-lanceolate, pinnatifid, coarsely serrate or crenate-serrate; petioles with purple blotches, longitudinal furrows and a broadly sheathing base.

Umbels with 10-20 sometimes puberulent rays; involucral bracts 5 or 6, narrowtriangular to ovate-lanceolate, reflexed; involucel of 3-6 bracteoles on the outside of the many-flowered umbellules, broadened at the base and often connate; flowers 2-3 mm diam.; petals white; stamens spreading, longer than the petals; filaments and anthers white; stylopodium white, thick, flat, its 2 parts confluent.

Fruit subglobose; mericarps 2.5-3.5 mm long, with 5 wavy-crenate ribs.

Published illustration: Ross-Craig (1958) Drawings Brit. Pl. 12:t. 6; Burbidge & Gray (1970) Flora of the A.C.T., fig. 283; Beadle (1980) Students flora of northeastern New South Wales, fig. 266C.

Distribution:  In waste places, mainly near stockyards, along river banks, creeks and roadsides.

S.Aust.: FR, EA, EP, NL, MU, SL, KI, SE.   W.Aust.; N.S.W.; Vic.; Tas.   New Zealand. Native in temperate Eurasia, naturalised in temperate America.

Conservation status: naturalised

Flowering time: Oct. — Nov.

SA Distribution Map based
on current data relating to
specimens held in the
State Herbarium of South Australia

Biology: The vegetative parts and fruits contain several closely related pyridine alkaloids and are very poisonous.

Author: Not yet available

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