by Stephen Mifsud
   24 Oct 2021      ()
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Conium maculatum   (Hemlock)

Conium maculatum  (APIACEAE.) 
Images for this profile are taken from the Maltese Islands after year 2000.

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Profile Date Oct-2010 (last update: 2-Jan-2020)
Citation for this page Mifsud, S. (2-Jan-2020) Conium maculatum retrieved from on 24-Oct-2021

Nomenclature and Basic Information

Species name :

Conium maculatumL.
Published in Sp. Pl. 243 (1753).

Synonyms :
(basionym or principal syn.)

Conium divaricatum Boiss. & Orph.
Full list of synonyms : [Euro+Med] [PlantList] [IPNI] [POWO] [Catalogue of Life] []

Plant Family :

Apiaceae Lindl. (=Umbelliferea) (The Carrot Family)
34 species from the Apiaceae family are recorded from the Maltese Islands.

English name(s) :

Hemlock, Poison Hemlock, Devil's bread

Maltese name(s) :


Status for Malta :

Naturalised Alien. Species that was introduced in Malta after year 1492 (Columbus' discovery of the New World) and spreads and integrates to form established, non-invasive populations. Species may become become invasive if it widespreads rapidly.

Frequency :

Very Common     Common    Frequent     Scarce     Rare    Very rare     Extinct

Growth form :

Raunkiaer lifeform [info]: HEMICRYPTOPHYTE ( prostate plants with flowers close to the ground )
Germination [info]: Dicotyledon

Legal Protection :

Not legally protected till the last update of this website (25/Sep/2021)

Red List (1989) :

Not listed in the Red Data Book of the Maltese Islands

Flowering Time :

May – August

Colour of Flowers:


Name Derivation :

maculatum: From the Latin word 'macula' meaning stained or spotted. (Latin origin )

Remarks :

All parts of plant are highly poisonous especially the seeds.

Description, Habitat and Distribution
Habitat in Europe: Wasteground near arable land
Preferred habitat in Malta: Last population was seen in disturbed ground close to arable land.
Botanical Description: Nearly glabrous winter annual or biennial 50-250 cm. Stem pruinose, usually with reddish-brown spots below, hollow. Lower leaves up to 50 x 40 cm, triangular in outline, 2- to 4-pinnate, soft, entirely glabrous; lobes 10-20 mm, oblong-lanceolate to deltate, pinnatifid, coarsely serrate or crenate-serrate. Rays (6-)10-20, often puberulent. Bracts (0-)5-6, narrowly triangular to ovate-lanceolate, deflexed; margin scarious; bracteoles 3-6, on the outside of the partial umbel, widened at base and often connate. Fruit 2.5-3.5 mm
Distributional range: Almost throughout Europe, except the extreme north
Native region outside Europe: North Africa

Distributional map in Europe
and the Mediterranean region (2018):
Occurrences in Europe.
(from Flora Europaea pre year 1993):
All Europe except Faroe Islands, Iceland, Svalbard archipelago
Occurrences in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
(from Euro+Med Checklist, 2019)
  Country codes  
Ab(A N) Ag Al Ar Au(A) †Au(L) Az Be(B L) BH Bl(M N) Br Bu By dCa(C G H P T) Cg Co Cr Cs Cy Da Es Fe Ga(F) Ge Gg Gr Hb(E N) He Ho Hs(A S) Hu Ir It Jo La Le Li Lt Lu Ma Mk Mo Po Rf(C CS E N NW S) Rm Sa Si(M S) Sk Sl Sr Su Sy Tn Tu(A E) Uk(K U) [Az(M S T) Md(M) aNo]

Links & Further literature (0 papers)

Google Web

Google Images

Google Scholar

Research Gate




Med Checklist

Cat. of Life



World Flora Online

Plants of the World Online

Vienna Virt. Herb.

RBGE Herbarium

KEW Herbarium




Kindly Email if there are papers and publications about local studies or information about this species to be included in the list above.

Species Images (8 images)
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-0.
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-1.
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-2.
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-3.
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-4.
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-5.
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-6.
   Conium maculatum   -   Image Code: CNMMA-7.

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