Or should I say: Extremely Poison: Water Hemlock.
Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata) literally has me trembling. This (and it’s cousin, Poison Hemlock, or Conium maculatum) are the reason we advise all on our walks (especially children) NOT to eat the edible Wild Carrot, or Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota). Look how much the flower looks like Queen Anne’s Lace:
Water Hemlock is DEADLY and the risk of confusing the two is just not worth it.
We found Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata) growing all through Schenely Park in Pittsburgh. The leaves are quite different from that of Wild Carrot:
…so they are not impossible to tell apart. Still, if one were just learning, or not paying attention, or didn’t know something deadly so closely resembled something edible, they might make a mistake.
So again, this is why we advise people not to eat Wild Carrots (it’s too risky a mistake), and why we don’t eat them ourselves.
Hemlocks don’t smell like carrots the way wild carrots do, and that is another way to tell them apart. Again, it’s not that they look/are exactly the same, it’s just they are close enough, and grow in overlapping places and the risk is just too high.
According to the book Edible Wild Plants, this plant’s toxic alkaloids can cause nervousness, trembling (it causes me trembling just to look at it!), reduced heartbeat, coma, and respiratory failure/death.
Have fun and please stay safe,
Food Under Foot