NATIVE RANGE: Eastern North America
DESCRIPTION: Evergreen confier with a straight non-forking trunk, green flat needle leaves, small cones.
JEWELRY: Intricate designs of the needle leaves in silver and gold
POiSON: In grade school we learn about Hemlock as the poison that killed Socrates, which is true, but Hemlock the plant is different from Hemlock the tree. European colonists named the tree Hemlock, because the leaves had a similar scent to the poisonous plant they knew from home, but they are actually totally unrelated. Common names can be confusing in the plant world, and are often misleading.
In 1951, the woolly adelgid, a pest that attacks the Eastern Hemlock and slowly suffocates it, was accidentally introduced to North America from Asia. Where it doesn't severely damage the trees in Asia, it kills the Eastern Hemlock that grows up the Appalachian Mountain Range from Georgia into Canada. Read more about the problem on our blog Hemlock Tree Extinction