SPOTTED WATERHEMLOCK, Cicuta maculata L. 1, stems, leaves, and flowers; 2, roots; 3, hollow base of stem; 4, flower; 5, seed. Perennial, reproducing by seeds and tuberous roots. Stem smooth, 3 to 5 feet (0.9 to 1.5 m) tall, branched at top only, frequently streaked with purplish spots. Leaves compound, 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 cm) long, alternate, smooth with toothed edges, often spotted; base of petioles clasping stem. Flowers very small, with 5 white petals, borne in compound umbels. Seed flat on one side and rounded on the other, ridged lengthwise with light and dark lines. Found in swamps and lowlands, usually in water or at its edge. Both seed and tubers have a distinct aromatic odor. All parts of the plant, but especially the roots, are poisonous if eaten.