It’s known by many names; devil’s bread, devil’s porridge, poison parsley, carrot fern, California fern, winter fern, and others–but you’ve probably heard the name before.
Conium maculatumor more commonly, poison hemlock.
And as for the part about it being able to kill you, if you doubt me, remember what happened to Socrates when he chugged some way back when.
A Monticello, Illinois Man Has Discovered (The Hard Way) How Nasty Poison Hemlock Can Be
According to a report from WGNTV.com, a man named Michael Leary was mowing down some weeds in a field when he found himself exposed to Poison Hemlock. Apparently, they’d only had a couple of the plants growing nearby last year, but this year Michael says that they’re everywhere.
And all it took to rock his world was about 24 hours between the time he cut the hemlock to the point he knew he had a big problem.
“It’s the combination of mowing, knocking it down, cutting it and having the wind blowing,” he said. “It was definitely a combination of inhalation and skin exposure.”
Leary said he did not experience an immediate reaction but the day after he was exposed, he started seeing spots on the top of his feet. Then, it quickly spread across his body.
Here’s what it can look like if you suffer skin exposure (Warning: these photos are a bit graphic):
Bottom Line: If You’re A Mammal, Poison Hemlock Can Make You Very Ill, And Even Kill You
It’s somewhat hard to believe that something that looks so non-threatening can do that kind of damage, but it can. According to HealthLine.com, the symptoms of Poison Hemlock poisoning are:
LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs
To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet’s phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.
Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.