Waterhemlock (Cicuta spp.)

  • Waterhemlock Plant 215x150

Category C Weed

Parsley family (Apiaceae)

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Waterhemlock (Cicuta spp.)


    • Up to 5 ft. tall, stout, lacks hair (glabrous) and hollow except at nodes; usually with purple streaks ; often branched.


      • Pinate-comopound; leaflets are lance-shaped. 1-4 in. long and lack hair, edges (margins) are toothed


        • Small, white and arranged in umbrella-like clusters at end of a stalk


          • Swollen taproot at stem base that can be cut open to reveal multiple narrow, hollow, horizontal chambers; fluid released from cut stem bases is orange-yellow or brown, has the odor of parsnip and is highly toxic


            • Grows best in moist soils; often found in crop fields, roadsides, waste areas and along waterways; known to occur in Carson City, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties; native to North America

            • Perennial; reproduces by seed

            • Highly toxic to animals and humans, even in small quantities


              • Repeated cultivation or hand-removal can be effective (avoid contact with skin)

              • Apply 2,4-D or glyphosate to actively growing plants