Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)


(Cicuta maculata)
Spotted Water Hemlock, Spotted Parsley, Spotted Cowbane, and The Suicide Root
Water Hemlock in Wild

Cicuta maculata is a species of flowering plant in the carrot family known by several common names, including spotted water hemlock, spotted parsley, spotted cowbane, and the suicide root by the Iroquois. This is a rhizomatous perennial herb producing a hollow erect stem to a maximum height between 1 and 1.5 meters. The long leaves are made up of several lance-shaped, pointed, serrated leaflets. Each shiny green leaflet is 2 to 10 centimeters long and the entire leaf may be up to 40 centimeters long. The inflorescence of white flowers is similar in appearance to many other species in the carrot family. It is a compound umbel with a many clusters of flowers. The dry tan-brown fruit is a few millimeters long.

WaterHemlockflowerWater Hemlock Flower Bloom

 It is native to nearly all of North America, from northern Canada to southern Mexico.
Toxic Principle:
The chief poison is cicutoxin. The plant is occasionally mistaken for parsnips, due to its clusters of white tuberous roots; this is an often fatal error, as the Cicuta is extremely poisonous. Indeed, spotted water hemlock is considered to be North America’s most toxic plant.
Poisoning Symptoms include:
Cicutoxin, an unsaturated aliphatic alcohol that is most concentrated in the roots. Upon  consumption, nausea, vomiting, and tremors occur within 30–60 minutes, followed by severe cramps, projectile vomiting, and convulsions. There are occasional long-term effects, like retrograde amnesia.Ingestion of water hemlock in any quantity can result in death or permanent neurological damage of the central nervous system.


 Lone Star English Setter Club provides this information
as a partial reference of the potential poisons that could harm your dog.
We are not veterinarian’s and DO NOT provide medical help.

If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance,
contact your local veterinarian or
the ASPCA’s 24-hour emergency poisoning hotline directly