Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The poison hemlock.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A genus of umbelliferous plants, consisting of tall glabrous biennial herbs, with compound leaves and white-flowered umbels.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A genus of biennial, poisonous, white-flowered, umbelliferous plants, bearing ribbed fruit (“seeds”) and decompound leaves.
  • noun (Med.) The common hemlock (Conium maculatum, poison hemlock, spotted hemlock, poison parsley), a roadside weed of Europe, Asia, and America, cultivated in the United States for medicinal purpose. It is an active poison. The leaves and fruit are used in medicine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun botany Any of the genus Conium of poisonous perennial herbaceous flowering plants.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun small genus of highly toxic biennials: hemlock

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Late Latin cōnium, from Greek kōneion, probably from kōna, liquid pitch.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the genus name.

Examples

  • As far as we know she was poisoned by conium, which is one of the oldest, simplest forms known to man, and is simply another name for hemlock.

    Police at the Funeral

  • As far as we know she was poisoned by conium, which is one of the oldest, simplest forms known to man, and is simply another name for hemlock.

    Police at the Funeral

  • _Local Action_, as seen in (a) corrosive poisons; (b) irritant poisons, causing congestion and inflammation of the mucous membranes -- _e. g._, metallic and vegetable irritants; (c) stimulants or sedatives to the nerve endings, as aconite, conium, cocaine.

    Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology

  • Precip. carbonate of iron, five drams; extract of conium, two drams; balsam Peru, one dram; oil cinnamon, twenty drops; simple syrup, eight ounces; pulverized gum arabic, two drams.

    The Ladies Book of Useful Information Compiled from many sources

  • Goodness knows how much conium was found in the poor girl.

    Sweet Danger

  • “The deceased met her death by conium poisoning, but there is not sufficient evidence to show whether it was self-administered or not.”

    Sweet Danger

  • ‘He distilled the conium himself, I suppose?’ said Campion.

    Sweet Danger

  • “The deceased met her death by conium poisoning, but there is not sufficient evidence to show whether it was self-administered or not.”

    Police at the Funeral

  • ‘Personally,’ said Mr Campion, taking off his glasses, ‘I don’t see how it could have been a genuine mistake if the poison was conium.

    Police at the Funeral

  • That sister promptly died from the homely conium poison, traces of which I have no doubt will be found in the cup.

    Police at the Funeral

Comments

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  • Conium or hemlock is a highly toxic flowering plant indigenous to Europe and South Africa. For an adult, the ingestion of 100mg of conium or about 8 leaves of the plant is fatal. Death comes in the form of paralysis One's mind is wide awake, but the body doesn’t respond and eventually the respiratory system shuts down.

    February 27, 2015

  • I have no idea if it is native but there is certainly hemlock growing wild in Australia. If it's not native then you'd have to speculate about why British settlers chose to bring it here.

    March 2, 2015