Poison hemlock - Conium maculatum
So I’m supposed to be learning my California flora, and the best way of doing so is to collect plants while in the field and then ID them in the lab. Today, I picked some poison hemlock thinking it was Queen Anne’s Lace (both are very similar and related to carrots!). I pulled the whole thing up (got most of the carrot-like tap root, even), pulled off everything but the bigger stalk, folded it all up to fit in the sample bag. Basically, I got this plant all over my hands. I then proceeded to eat my burrito, as it was lunch time, without washing my hands (no sinks in the field). A couple hours later, back in the lab, my boss (who was helping me with IDs) sees it and immediately starts freaking out and looking up minimum toxicity (which is actually a lot higher than what I may have consumed). Everyone in the lab eventually gathers over, and one of the older profs said if I was in trouble, I would have felt it by then. Basically, it was pretty hilarious.
BTW, hemlock is most easily distinguished from QAL by the purple spots all over the stem. So look out, you guys.