Definition The most potent of the six poisonous alkaloids found in hemlock–Conium maculatum, as well as in the yellow pitcher plant (Sarracenia flava). It is responsible for hemlock’s nasty odour.
Coniine blocks the nicotinic receptor on the post-synaptic membrane of the neuromuscular junction causing a flaccid paralysis and was formerly used to treat muscle spasms; coniine vapour can cause narcosis. Hemlock is historically linked to the death of Socrates in 399 BC.
Synonyms C8H17N, cicutine, conicine