Cicuta maculata

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Taxonomy
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Cicuta
Species: C. maculata
Scientific Name
Cicuta maculata
L.
Common Names

spotted waterhemlock, spotted water hemlock, common water hemlock, poison parsnip, spotted cowbane, spotted parsley, spotted water-hemlock, spotted waterhemlock, water hemlock

Overview

Appearance
Cicuta maculata is usually a large, highly branched plant growing to 8 ft. (2.4 m) tall in wet meadows, swamps, and shoreline thickets. However, they can be medium-sized, scraggly plants growing in floating mats of vegetation.
Foliage
The leaves are large, often growing to a foot or more long and 2 ft. (0.6 m) wide. They can be bipinnately or tripinnately compound and are alternately arranged on the stem. The leaflets are lance-shaped and have coarse teeth around their margins. The stem is fleshy and hollow and usually has purple stripes.
Flowers
The flowers are in large, dome-shaped umbels. The flowers are tiny, white, and have 5 petals. The flower umbels are in long stalks that grow from leaf axels at the tips of the stems.
Fruit
The fruit has the appearance as small, dry and spherical that is 0.25 in. (0.64 cm) long. It ripens in July-September.
Ecological Threat
Many species of aquatic plants have large clusters of white flowers. Some of these plants are considered edible. However, some, such as Cicuta maculata, are extremely toxic to humans and animals, and can cause death.

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