Ms. Lamont, I enjoyed your article on Queen Anne's Lace. Informative, without being "stuffy" about it. Just one thing to add, regarding the (very) close resemblance between Queen Anne's Lace (Wild carrot) and Poison Hemlock (also a "wild carrot", also known as Water Hemlock in some areas); here's what my "field guide" books all seem to agree on...
Besides the purplish center floret, the other visible distinction is the leaves. Queen Anne's Lace will have the leaf veins ending at the POINTS of the leaf "teeth". With Poison Hemlock, the veins end BETWEEN the points (in the absence of that purplish center floret, look for this!). As far as I am aware, and please do not take this as "gospel", the only other way to visually distinguish between the two plants is the actual floral umbel -- I do not believe the umbel folds up in Poison Hemlock, like with Queen Anne's Lace (I may be mistaken about this, which is why I say to not take it as "gospel").
You are very correct about how poisonous the Poison Hemlock is. Even one tiny nibble is usually enough to kill a person the size of Hulk Hogan; if it doesn't kill you right off, you will wish it had. Be extremely careful when out looking for Wild Carrot, folks. (There's another "wild carrot" that can make the skin extremely sensitive to sunlight, just by touching the plant...gee, wild herbs can be so much fun!)
--NF (I have Wild Carrot, and probably Poison Hemlock, too - just haven't seen any of the latter...yet)
Thanks for your informative comment. As always, folks, make ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN you know what you are ingesting before you eat it. And actually, domestic carrots taste so good, I wouldn't bother with the wild ones.