This section is from the book "Harper's Guide To Wild Flowers", by Caroline A. Creevey. Also available from Amazon: Harper's Guide To Wild Flowers.
Family, Parsley. Flowers, white, in umbels. Leaves, large, twice-divided. Leaflets pale green, lance-shaped, cut. Stem spotted and smooth. A tall branching herb whose leaves give forth an unpleasant odor when crushed. Both involucre and involucels present of 3 to 5 bracts.
Northern States, waste places. July.
This plant is the famous hemlock which Socrates was condemned to drink. It was the means often employed in Athens for putting criminals to death. It should be identified to be avoided, for its juices are as deadly to-day as when the great philosopher calmly drank of the fatal cup.