The bulbous water hemlock is a slender perennial plant, much branched, growing from one to three feet high. The leaves are divided two or three times into narrow, saw-toothed leaflets. The upper leaves are less divided and bear small clustered bulblets in the angles formed by the leaf and stem. The white flower clusters are arranged in umbels similar to those of the other water hemlocks. The roots also are similar but seldom as large. It is in bloom from July to September.
It is found in swamps and wet places from Nova Scotia to British Columbia.
This species and also the Western Water Hemlock (Cicuta vagans Greene) of British Columbia, contain the same poisonous principles as the preceding species and are equally dangerous to all stock. Plate XXIX.
The poisonous substance of the water hemlocks is so rapid in its action that little or nothing can be done in the way of remedial treatment. When poisoning has been discovered the animals are either dead or dying or in such excitement that any attempt at treatment tends to hasten death.
Photo - P. Fyles.
Bulbous Water Hemlock.
Photo - F. Fyles.
Western Water Hemlock.
In the case of human poisoning an emetic may be given at once and a physician summoned.
All plants should be grubbed out and destroyed, or they may be readily pulled by hand in the spring when the ground is soft. On large areas where grubbing out seems impossible, the land should not be used as a pasture.