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Known by the common name Poison hemlock, the species contains coniine, a powerful neurotoxin that can be lethal to humans and all classes of livestock. This member of the carrot family can reach a height of three meters. The stem is generally purple-spotted or streaked; the widely ovate leaves are typically 2-pinnate and are 15 to 30 centimeters in length. Inflorescences are much-branched.