Every year at around this time, we start bracing ourselves for the wave of hapless foragers, spurred on by the sunshine and abundance, who end up in danger because of one particularly sneaky plant.
The plant is Oenanthe crocata or Hemlock water dropwort, and it is the most toxic plant in the UK. It bears a strong resemblance, both to flat leaf parsley, and to wild Celery, and is related to both. It tends to grow by water, but it also lines the roads locally to me in Sussex.
This family - Apiaceae aka the carrot family - contains many of our most delicious edibles, such as carrots, coriander, Parsnips, fennel etc... As well as many toxic plants, like Hemlock water dropwort, poison hemlock, and fools parsley. Basically, until you really *know your carrots* it is best to proceed with caution when identifying within this family.
With that in mind these are ID videos I made specifically for Oenanthe crocata at different stages of growth, to help you to really familiarise yourself, and if you look on my YouTube channel you will find a whole playlist just of Apiaceae family members, which I will be adding to this season.