Ontario Wildflowers website

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock
Cicuta bulbifera

Other common names: Bulblet-bearing Water Hemlock, Bulbous Water Hemlock

French names: Cicutaire bulbifère

Family: Parsley Family (Apiaceae)

Group: Water Hemlocks

Distinctive features: Spindly plant. Leaves narrow and finely divided. Wet areas. Stem hollow.

Similar species:
  •   Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata) - leaves are quite different (not fine/feathery); shares the same habitat; also deadly poisonous.

  •   Water Parsnip (Sium suave) - leaves very different; shares the same habitat; edible.

  •   Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) - grows in dry areas; edible; smells like carrots.

  •   Japanese Hedge Parsley (Torilis japonica) - grows in drier fields.

  •   Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) - leaves are not narrow.
  •   Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) - A tree; similar in name only; no relation; not poisonous. See the Ontario Trees & Shrubs website.

Flowers: Summer;  White;  5 parts (petals);  Sparse, white, in an umbel (an umbrella-shaped cluster) about 1-2" wide. Individual flowers about 1/8" wide, with 5 petals and 5 stamens.

Leaves: Alternate, Toothed;  Widely spaced alternate compound leaves have very narrow leaflets. Leaflets up to 3" long. Widely spaced ragged teeth. Tiny bulblets occur in the axils (where a leaflet joins the stem).

Height: 1-2 m (3-6 ft)

Stem: Widely spaced branches.Hollow.

Habitat: Wet Areas;  Wet open areas such as marshes, along shores, and sometimes open swamps.

Poisonous: ***DEADLY POISONOUS***.

Books: Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: 222    Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers: 48    ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario: 125   

Native/Non-native: Native

Notes: Read about Water Hemlocks.

Origin and Meaning of Names:
 Scientific Name: bulbifera: bearing bulbs

Photographs: 134 photographs available, of which 9 are featured on this page. SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOGRAPHS.

Range Map is at the bottom of the page

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

A Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock reaching over a boardwalk at Sudden Tract.

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

Note the narrow, almost filmy leaves.

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

The leaves of this plant are very different from Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata).

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

A close view of a leaf.

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

And another.

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

This photo shows the bulbs that grow along the stems. They are not always visible.

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)


Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

The flowers seems to be a bit sparser than those of Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata).

Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

Herbarium specimen of Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock.

(From the collection of the Royal Botanical Gardens Herbarium,Burlington,Ontario).

Range map for Bulb-bearing Water Hemlock (Cicuta bulbifera)

PLEASE NOTE: A coloured Province or State means this species occurs somewhere in that Province/State.
The entire Province/State is coloured, regardless of where in that Province/State it occurs.

(Range map provided courtesy of the USDA website and is displayed here in accordance with their Policies)