Conium maculatum (Parsley family)
Growth Habit: Tall, biennial plant; grows 6 to 8 feet tall with occasional plants growing upwards of 10 feet tall.
Leaves: Shiny green in color, fern-like to the touch. Finely divided 3 to 4 times. Lower leaves have long stalks slasping the stem. Musty odor.
Stems: Stout, branched, purple-spotted with distinct ridges.
Flower: Numerous umbrella shaped clusters of tiny, white flowers without sepals. Clusters are supported by stalks whorled at branch terminals.
Roots: Large, white taproot.
Seeds: Paired, about 1/8 inch long, ribbed, concave, and light brown in color.
Other: All parts of this plant are poisonous, including seeds and roots. Poison Hemlock tolerates poorly drainer soils and is frequently found along streams and ditch banks.