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Flower head

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Cicuta douglasii - western water hemlock

Synonyms: Cicuta maculata var. californica
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Apiaceae

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Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: This plant has erect stems and a horizontally divided tap root which contains an extremely poisonous juice.
Identification notes: Distinct narrow to ovate leaflets with serrated margins and veins that terminate at notches of serration and white petals with notched tips helps distinguish this from C. maculata which has coarse or sparse serration.
Height: 3 to 7 feet


Habitat Description: A wetland plant common in pastures and untilled fields. Occurs on streams, marshes, and irrigation canals.
Plant Communities: Riparian, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: Below 8200 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Regular in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: Stemmed umbels are flat on top with many small lacy flowers.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Compound     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Stems have purplish spots and are usually hollow and swollen at the base. Leaf veins terminate at the bottom of the leaf serrations which is a distinguishing characteristic of this plant.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Achene
Seed Notes: Each lacy flower produces 2 seeds, that are kidney-shaped with corky ridges. In addition to seed dispersal, the plant's rootstock can also produce new plants.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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