spotted water hemlock

(Cicuta maculata)

      spotted water hemlock

See Subordinate Taxa (below) for identifying information.

Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Very Poisonous
Spotted water hemlock is the most poisonous plant in Minnesota and may be the most poisonous plant in all of North America. All parts of the plants are toxic, but the tuberous roots, swollen lower stems, and all new growth are especially toxic.



Apiaceae (carrot)







Subordinate Taxa

Bolander’s water hemlock (Cicuta maculata var. bolanderi)

common water hemlock (Cicuta maculata var. maculata)

spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata var. angustifolia)

Victorin’s water hemlock (Cicuta maculata var. victorinii)




common water hemlock


poison parsnip

spotted cowbane

spotted parsley

spotted waterhemlock

spotted water-hemlock











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Variety Undetermined


  spotted water hemlock    


  spotted water hemlock   spotted water hemlock
  spotted water hemlock   spotted water hemlock
  spotted water hemlock   spotted water hemlock
  spotted water hemlock    


  spotted water hemlock   spotted water hemlock
  spotted water hemlock    


  spotted water hemlock   spotted water hemlock


  spotted water hemlock    


  spotted water hemlock   spotted water hemlock


  spotted water hemlock    

Young stems are especially toxic

  spotted water hemlock   spotted water hemlock



  Spotted Water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata)
Bill Keim
  Spotted Water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata)  
  Cicuta maculata WATER HEMLOCK
Frank Mayfield
  Cicuta maculata WATER HEMLOCK  



Visitor Videos
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Other Videos
  Environmental Laboratory - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Environmental Laboratory USACE

Published on Feb 15, 2013

Cicuta maculata - Western Water Hemlock

  Identifying Water Hemlock
Saskatchewan Agriculture

Uploaded on Nov 15, 2011

Regional Forage Specialist Al Foster discusses identifying water hemlock . Often when springs are dry the greenest part of a pasture is the areas around sloughs and along creeks. These green areas become preferred grazing sites for cattle. Unfortunately these low-lying areas sometimes contain water hemlock, a poisonous native plant.

  Hidden Florida's Deadly Plant Identification: Water Hemlock
Hidden Florida

Published on Dec 15, 2012

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  water hemlock / spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata syn. C. curtissii, C. mexicana)

Uploaded on May 20, 2010

Aquatic and Invasive Plant Identification Series by the UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants ( ) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Invasive Plant Management Section.

For more information about water hemlock, go to

Video editor/videographer - Phil Chiocchio

  Water Hemlock Lesson

Published on Jul 3, 2014





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