Weed Identification Guide
Western Water Hemlock
OTHER NAMES: Cowbane, poison parsnip, wild parsnip, snake root, snakeweed, spotted hemlock, poison hemlock.
HABITAT: Marshes, stream banks, slough margins and other wet places.
DESCRIPTION: Perennial, reproducing by seeds.
STEMS: 0.5 to two m tall, often with purplish spots, base is swollen and divided into narrow chambers by horizontal crosswalls and has several tuberous, thickened roots.
LEAVES: Alternate, compound pinnate - the leaf stalk has secondary leaf stalks bearing leaflets, leaflets three to 10 cm long, 0.5 - 3.5 cm wide with saw-toothed edges.
FLOWERS: White, small, in compound umbels (an umbel is a cluster of flowers with each flower stalk arising from the same point), narrow bracts around the base of the small clusters only, not at the base of the main flower head.
SEEDS: Two per flower, each seed having prominent ribs
This plant is extremely poisonous to people and livestock. The most poisonous parts are the roots and stem bases.
Please refer to Saskatchewan Agriculture's Guide to Crop Protection for current herbicide rates and application recommendations.
More images are availabe on the Google website.