Species Profile

Victorin's Water-hemlock

Scientific Name: Cicuta maculata var. victorinii
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Quebec
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2004
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern

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Quick Links: | Description | Distribution and Population | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Victorin's Water-hemlock


The Victorin's Water Hemlock is a perennial herb. The thin stem reaches a height of 30 to 60 cm; the leaves measure 1.5 to 4 cm in length; and the flowers are white.


Distribution and Population

Victorin's Water Hemlock is found only in Quebec.



Victorin's Water Hemlock grows in the area that is inundated at high tide every day. Its occurrence is linked to the patterns of the tide and the high water mark is the limit of its habitat.



Victorin's Water Hemlock reproduces by the multiplication of rhizomes. During its first year, the plant produces a rosette of leaves and a rhizome. If the winter is cold enough, during its second year, Victorin's Water Hemlock will produce a stem and some flowers. New rhizomes form every year. Victorin's Water Hemlock flowers in succession throughout the growing season, but the flowers that appear at the end of the growing season produce less fruit. The plant flowers from June to September. The very small flowers are pollinated by a variety of insects. Seeds will only germinate if they have been in water a long time.



The main limiting factor for Victorin's Water Hemlock is loss of habitat.



Federal Protection

More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.


Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Conservation plan for Victorin's Water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata var. victorinii) in Quebec
Status Recovery team/planner in place


Recovery Team

CWS-Quebec Species at Risk Recovery Unit

  • Unité du rétablissement des espèces en péril du SCF-QC - Chair/Contact -
    Phone: 1-855-253-6708  Send Email

Saint Lawrence Freshwater Estuary Threatened Flora Recovery Team

  • Pierre Morisset - Chair/Contact - Private consultant
     Send Email



PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.

8 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Victorin’s water-hemlock, Cicuta maculata var. victorinii in Canada (2004)

    Victorin's water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata var. victorinii) is a perennial plant of the parsnip family (Apiaceae). The taxon has undergone few taxonomic changes since it was described by Fernald. Boivin (1966) considers it to be a variety of Cicuta maculata, a view that has been accepted by all subsequent authors, except Gleason and Cronquist (1991), who do not accept the validity of the taxon. Variety victorinii is distinguished from var. maculata by its reniform to ovoid-cordate fruit with prominent lateral ribs and obscure dorsal ribs and its linear-lanceolate leaflets. Although the writer has noted that gradation occurs in the form of fruits between Victorin's water hemlock and the typical variety (var. maculata), the distinctness of Victorin's water-hemlock as a unique endemic of the intertidal zone of the St. Lawrence R. estuary is here recognized on the basis of the study by Mulligan (1980). The study by Mulligan (1980), based in part on plants grown from seed, stressed the importance of ripe fruits in identifying the varieties of Cicuta maculata.

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Victorin's Water-hemlock (2004)

    A geographically highly restricted perennial that is endemic to the freshwater or slightly brackish shoreline areas of the St. Lawrence River estuary in Quebec. It is present at about 33 localities but in very small localized habitats where it is at risk from a wide range of impacts. These impacts include: actual destruction of plants due to ATV traffic and human trampling, and mowing of shoreline vegetation; losses of suitable potential shoreline habitat also occurs through shoreline in-filling and development and potential loss of plants may occur due to confusion with the common variant of the species that is considered a noxious weed. Oil spills may also pose a potential risk.

Management Plans

  • Management Plan for Victorin’s Water-hemlock (Cicuta maculata var. victorinii) in Canada (2011)

    Victorin’s Water-hemlock was added to Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act in July 2005. The Minister of the Environment and the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency are the competent federal ministers for the conservation of the Victorin’s Water-hemlock. This management plan was developed in accordance with section 65 of SARA in cooperation with the Government of Quebec (Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP), under subsection 66(1) of SARA.


  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2004)

    The Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of the assessments of the status of wildlife species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (2005)

    The Minister of the Environment is recommending, pursuant to section 27 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), that 43 species be added to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. This recommendation is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, wildlife management boards, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2004 (2004)

    2004 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: November 2004 (2004)

    The Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003 as part of its strategy for the protection of wildlife species at risk. Attached to the act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, hereinafter referred to as the 'SARA list'. Canadians are invited to comment on whether all or some of the species included in this document should be added to the SARA list.