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

Cicuta douglasii (DC.) J.M. Coult. & Rose
Douglas' water-hemlock (western water hemlock)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Adolf Ceska  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #20734)

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Distribution of Cicuta douglasii
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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 and chambered base, leafy, glabrous, 0.5-2 m tall.
Basal and stem leaves divided 1-3 times, leaflets 3-4 times as long as broad, lanceolate to narrowly oblong or elliptic, these sharply pointed and toothed, 4-7 mm long; lateral veins ending at base of the teeth.
Inflorescence of several to many small, compact clusters forming several compound umbels; flowers white to greenish; involucral bracts mostly lacking.
Egg-shaped to orbicular, 2-4 mm long, glabrous, corky-thickened; ribs unequal, with a narrow raised border on edge of dark intervals.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet stream edges, ditches and marshes in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; common throughout BC except the Queen Charlotte Islands; N to AK and S to ID, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Cicuta douglasii

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) 0 811 2090
Slope Gradient (%) 0 2 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 174 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 6 8
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: BG(5), BWBS(8), CDF(5), CWH(46), ESSF(30), ICH(43), IDF(19), MS(7), PP(3), SBPS(4), SBS(72)


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.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cicuta maculata var. californica (A. Gray) B. Boivin

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References