About water hemlock (Cicuta douglasii)

Water hemlock is found in moist locations such as ditches, marshy areas, or as I found, along a river while taking a hike. The entire plant is toxic, with the greatest concentration of poison in the root of the plant. Water hemlock grows 3 to 6 feet tall. According to the Nature Skills website, "water hemlock and its close relations are the most poisonous deadly plants in North America."
 
The leaves of water hemlock are oblong with jagged edges. The plant produces white blooms that may be confused with Queen Anne's lace. The fading blooms of water hemlock convert to seed that spread by the wind or water to re-establish.
 
Poisonous if eaten
 
Ingestion of water hemlock is dangerous for humans and animals. Symptoms of water hemlock poisoning start with vomiting and lead to seizures. The National Institutes of Health states, "The ingestion of water hemlock can lead to serious complications that may be fatal. Prognosis is good, however, if prompt supportive care is provided."
 
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Saw this by the river while hiking. Sure makes for a safe place for geese to shelter.