Apium nodiflorum

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Helosciadium nodiflorum herbier.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Apium
A. nodiflorum
Binomial name
Apium nodiflorum

Apium nodiflorum (synonym Helosciadium nodiflorum), commonly called fool's-water-cress,[1] is a flowering plant found in ditches or streams and native to western Europe. It is a low-growing or prostrate perennial with pinnate leaves which have a vague resemblance to those of watercress. Apium nodiflorum has short-stalked umbels of very small white 5-petalled flowers which are opposite the leaves and grow from the side of the stem at the leaf axils. It blooms in July and August.[2][3]

It is not a poisonous plant, but it could be easily confused with the allegedly poisonous lesser water parsnipBerula erecta. It is common throughout England, Wales and Ireland but is much less so in Scotland.[4]

Apium nodiflorum, closeup of umbel flowers.


  1. ^ "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-01-25. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ Fool's-water-cress Wild flowers of Ireland. Accessed July 2011 Apium nodiflorum Fool's-water-cress]
  3. ^ Apium nodiflorum (Fool's-water-cress) Online Atlas of British and Irish Flora. Accessed July 2011
  4. ^ Apium nodiflorum Peter Llewellyn Wild Flowers of the British Isles, Accessed 2011