Cicuta, commonly known as Water Hemlock, is a perennial flowering plant native to Europe, Asia, and North America. It is characterized by its aromatic, white umbrella-shaped flowers and is one of the most poisonous plants in temperate climates.
The plant contains cicutoxin and silymarin, making it poisonous to humans and livestock. Cicutoxin causes symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, and convulsions, which can be fatal if not treated.
Cicuta is also known as "poison parsley" because some leaves resemble Parsley, but it is much more dangerous.
Cicuta can grow to a height of up to 10 feet and prefers moist soils and areas with standing water.
All parts of the plant are considered toxic, but the roots are the primary source of toxicity.
The plant's white flowers produce a large number of seeds that can be spread by water and wind.
Cicuta plants are found in wetlands, streams, and ponds in most parts of Europe, Asia, and North America.
The toxicity of Cicuta has made it known locally as a form of bio-control.
The plant is also a source of food for some species of birds, although they usually don't eat the parts of the plant containing toxins.
Cicuta has been used in traditional medicine to treat various conditions, including headaches and fever.
The name "Cicuta" is thought to come from the Latin word "cicuta," meaning "hemlock."