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Spotted Water Hemlock, Spotted Cowbane

Cicuta maculata

Family: Apiaceae (ay-pee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Cicuta (sik-YOO-tuh) (Info)
Species: maculata (mak-yuh-LAH-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Cicuta maculata var. maculata



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Very high moisture needs; suitable for bogs and water gardens

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Grown for foliage

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Plant is viviparous

Seed Collecting:

Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Morrilton, Arkansas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 4, 2004, Equilibrium wrote:

For those wishing to restore wetlands, this is a great plant native to North America... providing your neighbors have no children or pets, you have no children or pets, providing no children or pets visit you, and providing everybody else is familiar with what this deadly plant looks like so they can stay away from it.

This is by far the most violently toxic plant growing on the continent of North America. The plant contains the toxin cicutoxin. Even the smallest digested amount attacks the central nervous system. It is an incredibly powerful convulsant.

It is a member of the Parsley family and is closely related to the plant that poisoned Socrates. First year seedlings look like wild carrot.

I love native plants BUT this one was removed f... read more