Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Cicuta maculata

Spotted water hemlock, Water-Hemlock, Beaver Poison

Apiaceae (Carrot Family)

Cicuta maculata (Spotted water hemlock)
Flaigg, Norman G.
Smooth, erect, highly branched plant bearing dome- shaped, loose clusters of small white flowers. The sturdy stem is magenta-streaked.

The plant is not related to true Hemlock (Tsuga spp.), but to Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), the plant used to poison Socrates.

Image Gallery:

8 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial
Habit: Herb

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


USA: AL , AK , AZ , AR , CA , CO , CT , DE , FL , GA , ID , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , MT , NE , NV , NH , NJ , NM , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VT , VA , WA , WV , WI , WY , DC
Canada: NB , NS , ON , PE
Native Distribution: Southern Ontario to Nova Scotia; south through New England to Florida; west to Texas; north through Missouri to Canada.
Native Habitat: Wet meadows, thickets, freshwater swamps.

Growing Conditions

Soil Moisture: Wet


Warning: POISONOUS PARTS: All parts; roots may be mistaken for wild parsnip or artichoke. Highly Toxic! May be Fatal if Eaten! Symptoms include muscle spasms, dilated pupils, dizziness, diarrhea, stomach pain, convulsions. Toxic Principle: Cicutoxin and cicutol. (Poisonous Plants of N.C.)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Poisonous: yes

Last Update: 2010-08-30