Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie
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  • Smooth Cowbane

    SCIENTIFIC NAME: Oxypolis rigidior (Oxybelis rigidior)

    COMMON NAMES: Smooth Cowbane, Common Water Dropwort, Stiff Cowbane, Pig Potato

    BLOOM TIME: Aug, Sep


    • Delicate looking member of carrot family.
    • 2-5 ft. tall.
    • Sparingly branched, upper stems terminate in umbels of small white flowers.
    • Umbel has 10-20 tiny flowers, each having 5 petals with center stamen, about 1/8 in. across.
    • Habitat: full sun, wet moist conditions, sandy swamps.
    • Seen in northern Illinois.
    • Indicator of high quality swamp.
    • Plant is TOXIC and should never be eaten.