Poison Hemlock vs Queen Anne’s Lace | Ultimate Guide

Can Roses Be Poisonous?
Can Roses Be Poisonous?

There are some very important differences that you should know concerning Poison Hemlock vs Queen Anne’s Lace. We will cover these important differences in detail, and also discuss several of the similarities that can lead to common confusion. 

Poison hemlock and Queen Ann’s Lace look very similar and are both from the carrot family. Poison hemlock is toxic, while the root of queen ann’s lace is edible for human consumption. Queen Ann’s Lace has fine hairs up the stem, while poison hemlock has a smooth stem and purple blotches.

Let’s start by discussing the dangers that are presented by poison hemlock. It has a scientific name of ‘Conium maculatum’, also known as a deadly plant that can be found throughout the North American continent. Many of the nation’s roads are exposed to stretches of this dangerous plant, but some people may mistake it for Queen Anne’s Lace. 

In the next few sections of this guide, we will directly compare Poison Hemlock and Queen Anne’s Lace across a collection of different categories. We will use this opportunity to uncover the true similarities and differences between each type of plant.

The material provided here is for educational, informational, and entertainment purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

Danger Comparison | Poison Hemlock vs Queen Anne’s Lace

Queen Anne’s Lace is not poisonous. The common name ‘Daucus Carota’ simply describes a carrot from the wilderness. On the other hand, poison hemlock is poisonous, just as its name suggests, and could be dangerous to humans and pets. 

Location

Railroad tracks, streams, rivers, and countryside roads are all common locations where you might find poison hemlock. You can find Queen Anne’s Lace in similar locations, which can ultimately lead to confusion between the two similar-looking plants.

These plants take over areas fast and spread quickly, this is because of their robust growth. Because of this, it can be evasive to many native plants in the area. Source.

Appearance

Poison Hemlock and Queen Anne’s Lace have very similar appearances. They both are white umbrella-shaped plants that look nearly identical. Queen Anne’s Lace usually has a pink or red center-based flower while the poison hemlock does not.

It’s also important that poison hemlock does not have a hairy stem, while Queen Anne’s Lace usually does. It can still be tricky to identify these two plants from each other, and any mistake could lead to deadly consequences.

Queen Anne’s Lace Look-Alikes

Poison Hemlock is not the only Queen Anne’s lace look-alike. Many other plants and species look like two of these as well. Here is a list of plants that look like Queen Anne’s Lace.

  • Wild parsnips
  • Poison hemlock
  • Water hemlock or cowbane
  • Common hogweed
  • Giant hogweed
  • Cow parsnip
  • Cow parsley
  • Wild celery

Many of these other species of plants look like Queen Anne’s Lace but should be avoided since some of them are poisonous.

Comparison Chart | Poison Hemlock vs Queen Anne’s Lace

Here’s an in-depth comparison chart of some of the most significant differences between these two similar-looking plants. It’s important to understand these differences and similarities so that you don’t easily mistake these two types of plants, especially considering that one of them is poisonous and could have tragic consequences to your health. 

Poison HemlockQueen Anne’s Lace
Poison Hemlock can be found near streams, rivers, countryside roads, train tracks, and other similar locations. It can easily be mistaken with Queen Anne’s Lace, as it also grows in similar areas.Queen Anne’s Lace can also be found near streams, rivers, countryside roads, train tracks, and other similar locations. It can easily be mistaken with Poison Hemlock, as it also grows in similar areas. 
Both plants are similar in appearance, but Poison Hemlock doesn’t have a hairy stem.Both plants are similar in appearance, but Queen Anne’s Lace will usually have a hairy stem.
Poison Hemlock doesn’t usually have a pink, purple, or red center-based flower. This is one of the key ways to identify these two plants from each other.Queen Anne’s Lace usually has a pink, purple, or red center-based flower. This is one of the key ways to identify these two plants from each other.
As its name suggests, poison hemlock is deadly and harmful to human beings and pets, including cats, dogs, and even livestock. Queen Anne’s Lace certainly looks like Poison Hemlock, but it isn’t actually poisonous. It’s even edible, although you need to be 100% certain that it isn’t Poison Hemlock, or else you could be poisoned. 
Poison Hemlock vs Queen Anne’s Lace Comparison Chart.

This comparison chart helps evaluate several of the similarities and differences between Poison Hemlock and Queen Anne’s Lace. By understanding these similarities and differences, you should be able to tell the difference when coming across either of these two plants in the wilderness.

Queen Anne’s Lace Root

Since Queen Anne’s Lace is in the carrot family, it has also been called the wild carrot, and also “birds nest.” The roots can be eaten much like a carrot. They are carrot-shaped roots, that are white, not orange like traditional carrots. The roots taste and smell a lot like traditional carrots, however, they have a much stronger flavor.

They can be used to treat many ailments. The seeds can be used as a stimulant, and the root can be used to treat things like jaundice and threadworms. Queen Anne’s Lace is very aromatic and can be used in teas, as well as crushed up and dried as a spice.

The root tastes better cooked, in things like soups, and other dishes. Animals also use this root as a food source. So it can provide us with food as well as beautiful flowers to look at! Source.

See our article for Morel Vs False Morel Mushrooms

Conclusion

Don’t underestimate the importance of understanding the differences between these two plants. For a novice in nature, these two plants can easily be mixed up, which can be dangerous, confusing, and harmful to your health. You should try to understand how to identify each of these plants so that you don’t make a mistake.

If you believe that you have either of these plants growing near your property, try to identify if it is Poison Hemlock or Queen Anne’s Lace.  If you suspect that the plant may be poison hemlock, be sure to take steps to keep yourself and your animals safe.