Identification: Is This Water Hemlock or Other Toxic Plant?

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by Ellen2, Feb 12, 2022.

  1. Ellen2

    Ellen2 New Member

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    Can you identify this plant? It's early spring (mid-February near Duck Lake, Powell River area) so only the roots and a single early shoot is visible. I found many of these plants in a small creek and in the marshy edges of the creek. The white, reddish- brown, and ridged roots are very long, ropey, and deep (the ends are cut off in the photos). They may be 1-2 feet long or more and range from very thin to about 1/4-3/8 inches wide. They spread deeply and widely into the muck and into the running water.
    IMG_20220206_104222124.jpg IMG_20220207_084246063.jpg IMG_20220207_084217005.jpg IMG_20220207_084227244.jpg IMG_20220212_102807172.jpg
    One of the attached photos is a collection of root pieces that floated downstream. When cut vertically, the stem base (maybe root top) is not chambered, but seems solid and pulpy. I have not smelled the plant. I filter water from this creek and am concerned the roots I cut may be leaking toxins into my water source. I do not plan to eat the plant.
    Someone thought it was skunk cabbage.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2022
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  3. Ellen2

    Ellen2 New Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2022

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