Cicuta maculata  L. - Spotted Water Hemlock


 

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Cicuta maculata - (image 1 of 5)

 

Taxonomy

Family: Apiaceae

Habitat

Primary habitat is open marshes. Also found in wet-mesic prairies, moist woodlands, and roadside ditches.

Associates

Asclepias incarnata, Aster novae-angliae, Caltha palustris, Equisetum arvense, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Lycopus americanus, Lythrum alatum, Mentha arvensis, Onoclea sensibilis, Scutellaria lateriflora, Spartina pectinata, Symplocarpus foetidus.

Distribution

Nova Scotia and Quebec west to AK, south to FL, CA, and Mexico.

Morphology

Herbaceous perennial with stout, much branched stems to 2 m. Leaflets lanceolate to ovate, most over 5mm wide with sharp, narrow teeth; veins of the leaves end in the sinuses; bulblets absent from axils of the leaves. Flowers white, petals 5, in umbels.  

Notes

Flowers early June to early October

Wetland indicator: Obligate

Possibly the most toxic indigenous North American plant.

References

Gleason, Henry A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second Ed.
The New York Botanical Garden. Bronx, NY

 

Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.

 


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 Michael Hough 2004