Classification Hierarchy
Kingdom Plantae
Subkingdom Tracheophyta
Superdivision Spermatophyta
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Subclass Rosidae
Order Apiales
Family Apiaceae
Genus Oxypolis
Species Oxypolis rigidior
Cowbane

Date: August 11, 2011. Location: Rochester cemetery (map)

BONAP, FNA, ITIS, USDA, VPI

Scientific Name: Oxypolis rigidior ([GR] oxys=sharp, polios=white a reference to the white petals and the toothed involucels; rigidus [L] stiff)

Common Name: Cowbane

Origin: Native(L48)

Notes: Opinions differ about the toxicity of this plant. As a general principle, it's a good idea not to eat anything with "bane" as a part of it's common name. A closely related plant (Cicuta maculata) which is very poisonous, is also sometimes called Cowbane.

Additional references: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

Field Marks for Identification:

Flowers: August, a compuound umbel of small flowers each with 5 white petals, involucels present with pointed lobes.

Leaves: compound simple pinnate usually with 5 to 9 sessile linear leaflets, margins are usually entire but sometimes sparsely toothed.

Glossaries of botanical terms: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

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