Also known as:
Poison Hemlock
Europe, Asia, North Africa

General description

Tall, branching, foul-smelling, annual or biennial <2m tall. Smooth, hollow, branching, blue-green stems with conspicuous pink or purple blotches. Pinnately-divided, fern-like leaves dark green on upper surface, grey-green underneath. Small flowers (Sept-Jan) in white umbels at top of stems. Dark brown, barrel-shaped seed capsules. Plant dies after flowering.

Roadsides, riverbeds, forest margins, damp or marshy areas, waste areas.

Seeds dispersed by wind, water & on machinery, clothing or animals & in gravel or soil.

Very poisonous even when dry, however stock tends not to graze it because of its unpleasant smell.

Site management

Will quickly become succeeded by taller native species so only control in open or sensitive areas. Replant with native species to prevent re-establishment. Follow up for seedlings.

Recommended approaches

1. Grub out small infestations; remove all plant material so stock don’t eat it.
2. Overall spray (100ml glyphosate/10L or 1g metsulfuron/10L or 50ml triclopyr/10L or 120ml Tordon Gold/10L).

Caution: when using any herbicide or pesticide PLEASE READ THE LABEL THOROUGHLY to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

RPMS status

Surveillance - Whole Region
hemlock - Main species image