Monday, April 19, 2010

Wild Carrot and Poison Hemlock on House Episode

I watched the news episode of House tonight. The medical case involved the use of the Wild Carrot, which turned out to be actually a Poison Hemlock.Wild carrot’s small white root is edible and carroty-smelling, and the seeds are used in the treatment of certain urinary problems.
Most wild carrot flowers (also known as Queen Anne’s lace) have a single purple or maroon floret in the very center. However, the plant resembles poison hemlock, distinguished by an unpleasant odor and purple splotches on the stem. Both plants have leaves with slender, feathery leaflets. Because you can die from eating poison hemlock, which shuts down the central nervous system and was used to kill Socrates, beginning foragers should not even consider harvesting wild carrot. (Poison hemlock is unrelated to the evergreen tree known as hemlock, whose needles can be used to make a healing tea.) Wild carrot flowers in summer, while poison hemlock flowers in spring