Species Profile

Virginia Mallow

Scientific Name: Sida hermaphrodita
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered


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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Virginia Mallow

Description

Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) is a tall perennial herb of the mallow family. Plant height varies from 1–3 m. It has deeply lobed, toothed, maple–like leaves with the lobe tips dramatically elongated. The inflorescence produces clusters of white flowers from August to October (or first frost). Seeds are shed throughout the winter and germinate in early spring. (Updated 2017/06/15)

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Distribution and Population

The distributional range of Virginia Mallowis centred in the Appalachian Mountains and extends outward into both the Mississippi watershed and the Atlantic watershed. In Ontario, this species occurs in two areas, Niagara Region and Haldimand County, with one population in each. The species is extremely rare in the Great Lakes drainage region where it is at its northern limit. (Updated 2017/06/15)

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Habitat

This species is a plant of open, moist, sunny to partly shaded riparian habitats. Soil samples for populations in the United States indicate that all soils where Virginia Mallow is found are relatively sandy with fairly low organic matter content. The pH is neutral to slightly acidic and there are usually soluble salts available to the plants. In Ontario, this species occurs in disturbed situations; however, the habitat is consistent with other presumed native occurrences elsewhere and the species is not commonly grown horticulturally in North America. (Updated 2017/06/15)

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Biology

Virginia Mallow is a clonal perennial spreading by rhizomes. A large plant can produce several thousand seeds, most of which are viable. Flowering begins in early August and continues until a hard frost occurs. The suspected method of seed dispersal is by water. (Updated 2017/06/15)

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Threats

Habitat destruction seems to be the most detrimental limiting factor for this species throughout its range, including Ontario. Undisturbed riparian woodlands with natural openings and stream terraces are exceptionally rare in Ontario and in the United States. The quality of the species’ habitat continues to decline in Ontario. Specific threats include the spread of Common Reed, an aggressive exotic grass, quarry expansion, and pipeline maintenance activities. (Updated 2017/06/15)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Virginia Mallow is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). 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.

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Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Documents

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.

9 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Virginia Mallow Sida hermaphrodita in Canada (2010)

    Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) is a tall perennial herb of the mallow family. Plant height varies from 1-3 m. It has deeply lobed, toothed, maple-like leaves with the lobe tips dramatically elongated. The inflorescence produces clusters of white flowers from August to October (or first frost). Seeds are shed throughout the winter and germinate in early spring.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Virginia Mallow Sida hermaphrodita (2010)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common name Virginia Mallow Scientific name Sida hermaphrodita Status Endangered Reason for designation This globally rare showy perennial herb of the mallow family occurs in open riparian and wetland habitats where it reproduces by seed and asexually by spreading rhizomes. Only two small populations, separated by about 35 km, are known from southwestern Ontario where they are at risk from continued decline in habitat area and quality due to an aggressive invasive grass and quarry expansion. Occurrence Ontario Status history Designated Endangered in April 2010.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Virginia Mallow (2010)

    This globally rare showy perennial herb of the mallow family occurs in open riparian and wetland habitats where it reproduces by seed and asexually by spreading rhizomes. Only two small populations, separated by about 35 km, are known from southwestern Ontario where they are at risk from continued decline in habitat area and quality due to an aggressive invasive grass and quarry expansion.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Virginia Mallow (Sida hermaphrodita) in Canada (2015)

    The Minister of the Environment is the competent minister for the recovery of the Virginia Mallow and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content (sub-sections 41(1) or (2)). The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (now the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry) led the development of the attached recovery strategy for the Virginia Mallow (Part 2) in cooperation with Environment Canada.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2011)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, hereby acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of assessments conducted under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2012)

    The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – November 2010 (2010)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by February 4, 2011 for species undergoing normal consultations and by February 4, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.

Recovery Document Posting Plans

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada's Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan (2016)

    Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Three-Year Recovery Document Posting Plan identifies the species for which recovery documents will be posted each fiscal year starting in 2014-2015. Posting this three year plan on the Species at Risk Public Registry is intended to provide transparency to partners, stakeholders, and the public about Environment and Climate Change Canada’s plan to develop and post these proposed recovery strategies and management plans. However, both the number of documents and the particular species that are posted in a given year may change slightly due to a variety of circumstances. Last update March 31, 2017