Conium maculatum (spotted hemlock, poison hemlock, poison parsley, herb bennet, spotted corobane). A member of the plant family UMBELLIFERAE. Branching herbaceous plant. The stem is hollow, branched and ridged, purple-spotted at its base. The leaves are dark green with burgundy-red spots and a foetid odour, similar to cat urine.

[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Cattle, horses, (dogs).

Due to its disagreeable odour, poisoning by ingestion of the fresh green plant is rare. Incidences of deliberate poisoning (mainly of dogs) have been reported.

[toxic.gif] Toxicity
Contains the alkaloids conime, conhydrine, conicine, methyl conicine and coniceine. The entire plant is toxic especially before fruiting; toxicity diminishes once the plant is mature, and is reduced to a minimum after cutting and drying.

Toxic oral dose in kg fresh plant material:
LD cattle 2-4
  horses 3-5
  sheep 0.8
  ducks 0.05-0.07

The plant is teratogenic, causing skeletal defects.

[clinical.gif] Clinical features

[lesions.gif] Lesions
Non-specific: pulmonary and intestinal congestion.

[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
No antidote. Symptomatic care only: