This species is a perennial herb having large, thick, clustered, edible roots that are regularly sought by country children because of their pleasant, anise-flavoured odour and taste. Greatest caution should be exercised in collecting, handling, or eating any part of this plant without positive knowledge of its identity, as it strongly resembles the exceedingly poisonous Water Hemlock, which has caused fatal results. Sweet Cicely is an earlier bloomer, however, and blossoms during May and June. Its upright stalk is widely branched and grows from one to three feet in height. The large, fern-like leaf has three prominent, pointed-oval divisions that are again deeply cut and notched with irregularly toothed margins. The leaves are thin-textured and dark green in colour, and the lower ones have long stems. The small white flowers are five-petalled, and are borne in few-rayed, long-stemmed, flat-topped clusters. The long seeds are armed with two sharp, spreading points. Sweet Cicely is a tall, loose, and rather sparingly foliaged plant, of graceful growth. From it oil of anise has been distilled. It is found in rich, moist woods from Alabama, Tennessee, and Kansas northward.