E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Cicuta maculata L.
spotted cowbane (spotted water hemlock)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Cicuta maculata
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Cicuta maculata var. angustifolia

Species Information

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Stout perennial herb from a taproot or cluster of tuberous roots; stems solitary or few together from a tuberous-thickened chambered base, glabrous, 0.5-2 m tall.
Stem leaves compound, divided 1-3 times without bulbils in axils; leaflets more than 5 times as long as broad, linear to narrowly lanceolate; midvein on upper leaflet surface glabrous.
Inflorescence of several to many small compact clusters aggregated in several compound umbels; flowers white to greenish, small, numerous; involucral bracts mostly lacking.
Egg-shaped to orbicular, 2-4 mm long, longer than wide, without raised border on edge of the dark interval.
A single collection of var. maculata is known from SW BC (Mulligan 1980). It is distinguished from var. angustifolia by its longer styles, elongate fruit and broader stem leaflets.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Wet streamsides, ditches and marshes in the steppe and montane zones; common in BC E of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; N to AK, YT and NT, E to ON and S to TX and MX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cicuta maculata

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 650 1037 1740
Slope Gradient (%) 0 0 2
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
135 138 142
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
5 5 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ICH(4), SBS(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

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