Cowbane Cicuta virosa

Status Green - Least concern
Best Time to See July, August
Habitat Wetland

The frothy blossoms of cowbane often adorn ponds and ditches.

Its stem is purple-striped and its leaves are coarsley toothed. In many places it has been eradicated because, as the name implies, it is poisonous to cattle. They are perennial herbaceous plants which grow up to 2.5 metres tall and have distinctive small green or white flowers arranged in an umbrella shape (umbel).


More common in Northern Ireland than the rest of the UK.


Marshes and ditches.

Best time to see

When it flowers July-August.

Did you know?

It is the County flower of County Antrim.

It is commonly named water hemlock or poison parsnip.