There is a lot of this growing in standing water near a drainage route and spring. It looks similar to water or poison hemlock.

picture of plant


1 Answer 1


This is most likely water cress (Nasturtium officinale), which is in the cabbage family (Brassicaceae).

This is a water dwelling species that has white flowers and leaves in a pinnately compound form and flowers in clusters.

In contrast, hemlock (Conium maculatum) has its flowers in distinct umbels (umbrella shape), and the leaves are also pinnate, but deeply divided and lacy in appearance as opposed to the intact and lightly toothed edges on watercress.

Here's a picture of hemlock leaf from Iowa State University, contrast it to the ones in your question:


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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! It looked similar but is missing distinguishing features like umbels, 5 petals, reddish stem, protruding stamen, etc. $\endgroup$
    – noshery
    Jun 9, 2022 at 22:03
  • $\begingroup$ @noshery no problem, it is certainly good to get clarification around these sorts of things. Water cress is very edible and tasty, though rather peppery when raw - tastes like radish or mustard. If you are certain that the water source is clean (i.e. not polluted or have human/animal waste in it), then harvesting and eating is a possibility, but could need cooking if in doubt as to the water. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Jun 10, 2022 at 3:27

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