Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains
Circuta L. -- Water hemlock
Poisonous biennials or perennials, usually with few to many tuberous-thickened
roots, the stem often thickened and chambered at the base. Leaves
2-3X pinnate, the leaflets linear to linear-lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate,
irregularly incised or regularly serrate, the primary veins directed toward
the sinuses rather than the teeth. Umbels few to many, terminal and lateral,
on stout peduncles; rays many, spreading-ascending; involucre
usually lacking; pedicels spreading; involucel comprised of several
bractlets or rarely absent. Flowers white or greenish, 1-2 mm across;
sepals evident, triangular. Mature fruits oval or orbicular, constricted
or not constricted at the commissure, the ribs alternating with darker intervals.
These plants are highly poisonous to man and livestock. The tuberous roots,
stem base and young shoots are especially toxic. Livestock poisoning from Cicuta
is more common in the arid w and sw U.S., where grazing animals are attracted
to low areas for green forage during dry spells.
Mathias, M. E. and L. Constance. 1942. A synopsis of the American
species of Cicuta. Madrono 6:145-151.
Mulligan, G. A. 1980. The genus Cicuta in North America.
Can. J. Bot. 58:1755-1767.
||Leaflets linear, seldom to 5 mm wide; axils of at
least the reduced upper leaves bearing bulbils.
||Leaflets linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate,
mostly 5-35 mm wide; axils not bearing bulbils.
34. Apiaceae, the Parsley Family
2. Cicuta L. -- Water hemlock
- 1. Cicuta bulbifera L. -- Bulbous
- 2. Cicuta maculata L. -- Common water
Return to Family -- Apiaceae - The Parsley Family
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