This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Erect tall perennial glabrous herbs, with pinnate or pinnately compound leaves, and compound terminal umbels of white flowers. Involucre of few bracts, or none; involucels many-bracted. Calyx-teeth acute. Petals broad, the apex inflexed. Stylopodium short-conic; fruit ovoid, or oblong, glabrous, slightly flattened laterally. Ribs corky, the lateral ones rather the strongest; oil-tubes solitary in the intervals, 2 on the commissural side. Seed nearly terete. [The ancient Latin name.]
About 8 species, natives of the north temperate zone and Mexico. Besides the following about 4 others occur in western North America. Type species: Cicuta virosa L.
Leaf-segments narrowly linear.
Cicuta maculata L. Sp. Pl. 256. 1753.
Cicuta virosa var. maculata Coult. & Rose, Rev. Umb. 130. 1888.
Stout, erect, branching, 3°-6° high, the stem marked with purple lines. Roots several, fleshy, tuberiform, ovoid, or oblong; leaves petioled, bipinnate, or tripinnate, the lower often 1° long, and on long petioles, the upper smaller; leaf-segments lanceolate, or lance-oblong, coarsely and sharply serrate, 1'-5' long, their veins apparently ending in the notches; umbellets many-flowered; pedicels unequal, 2"-4" long in fruit; fruit oval to suborbicular, 1"-1 1/2" long.
In swamps and low grounds, New Brunswick to Manitoba, south to Florida. and New Mexico. Poisonous. Spotted cowbane. Beaver-poison. Children's-bane. Musquash-poison. Wild parsnip. Snakeweed. Consists of several races, differing in width, thickness and serration of the leaf-segments, shape of fruit and thickness of its lateral ribs. June-Aug.
Cicuta Curtissii Coult. & Rose differs in having nearly orbicular fruit, and often broader leaf-segments. It inhabits the Southern States and is recorded as ranging northward into southern Virginia.
Cicuta bulbifera L. Sp. Pl. 255. 1753.
Erect, slender, much branched, 1°-3 1/2° high. Roots few, fleshy, tuberiform. Leaves petioled, 2-3 pinnate, the upper ones less divided, smaller, and bearing numerous clustered bulb-lets in their axils; leaf-segments linear, sparingly serrate with distant teeth, 1/2'-1 1/2' long; fruit broadly ovate, slightly more than 1" long, seldom formed along the southern range of the species.
In swamps, Nova Scotia to Maryland, British Columbia, Indiana, Nebraska and Oregon. Ascends to 2600 ft. in the Catskills. July-Sept.
50. CÀRUM L. Sp. PI. 263. 1753.
Glabrous herbs, with thick roots, pinnate or ternately pinnatifid leaves, and small white or yellowish flowers in terminal compound umbels. Calyx-teeth minute. Petals inflexed at the apex. Stylopodium conic; fruit ovate, or oblong, somewhat compressed, glabrous. Carpels somewhat 5-angled, the ribs filiform; oil-tubes solitary in the intervals and 2 on the commissural side. Seed dorsally flattened, its face flat or slightly concave. [Greek, caraway.]
About 50 species, natives of temperate and warm regions, the following typical. Besides the following, about 4 others occur in western North America.
Carum Carui L. Sp. Pl. 263. 1753.
Biennial or sometimes perennial, erect, branching, 1°-2° high. Lower and basal leaves long-petioled, the uppermost nearly sessile, all pinnatisected into linear or filiform segments; bases of the petioles widely dilated; involucre of 1-3 linear bracts, or none; involucels commonly none; umbels 1'-2 1/2' broad, 7-10-rayed; rays ¥-2' long in fruit; fruit oblong, usually slightly curved, about 2" long, the ribs conspicuous when mature; flowers white.