Species Profile

Redroot

Scientific Name: Lachnanthes caroliniana
Other/Previous Names: Lachnanthes caroliana
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Nova Scotia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2009
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern


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

Image of Redroot

Redroot Photo 1

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Description

Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana) is an herbaceous perennial within the monocot family Haemodoraceae. Its common name comes from the bright orange–red rhizomes, usually visible at or near the soil surface, and its red sap. Redroot has an erect, unbranched stem 15 to 40 cm tall (to 100+ cm in the southern part of its range), and is white–wooly when young, becoming tawny–hoary with age. The leaves are mostly basal and iris–like in shape and arrangement. Inflorescences are tight, flat–topped clusters of flowers having 6 dull yellow petal–like tepals. Under the most recent taxonomic treatment, Redroot is the only species in the genus Lachnanthes and the only Canadian and North American member of its predominantly tropical family. Despite a variety of synonyms having been applied to Redroot, there has never been any dispute regarding its taxonomic rank or its status as a distinct species. (Updated 2017/06/13)

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Distribution and Population

Redroot is fairly common within about 120 km of the Atlantic coast from eastern Louisiana to North Carolina and in southern New Jersey. It is rare in every other jurisdiction in which it occurs, from Virginia to Long Island, New York and in Nova Scotia. In Canada, Redroot is known from eight connected lakes in southern Nova Scotia. Its Extent of Occurrence is 117 km² but it occupies less than 1.24 km²of actual habitat. (Updated 2017/06/13)

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Habitat

Redroot is a species of wet, acidic, nutrient–poor habitats, occurring primarily within the seasonally inundated shoreline zone of lake and pond shores in the northern part of its range. In the southern portion of its range, it also occurs in wet depressions within mesic pine forests and savannas and is frequent within these habitats in anthropogenically disturbed areas such as trails, ruts and ditches. In Nova Scotia, it is found on lakeshores on boulder, cobble, gravel, sand and peat substrates where seasonal flooding, wave action and ice–scour limit the establishment of more competitive species. Redroot tends to be most abundant on windward (west and south–facing) shores where wave action and ice scour are greatest. Although it can occur in areas remaining shallowly inundated throughout most years, flowering occurs primarily toward the landward limit of its shoreline distribution. (Updated 2017/06/13)

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Biology

The plant mainly reproduces vegetatively from rhizome buds, but it can also reproduce by seed.  Phenology and reproduction are related to water levels.  High water levels can inhibit flowering, seedling establishment and vegetative growth.  Low levels expose a buried seed bank, thus likely stimulate sexual reproduction.  Fluctuating water levels are ideal, since competitors would be set back during high water.  Seedling establishment could occur during low water.  The plant flowers in August and September in Nova Scotia.  Flowering individuals occur only near the upper limit of distribution on the shoreline.  Among the thousands of plants seen during a 1989 low-water survey, only 100 were flowering. (Updated 2017/06/13)

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Threats

Shoreline development is the major anthropogenic threat. Approximately 95% of the 690 buildings around lakes supporting Redroot have been built in the past 40 years. Several hundred cottages and homes likely have Redroot on their properties with more built annually. Where Redroot and shoreline development coincide, there is most often some but not complete loss of habitat and populations. No more than about 6% of available shoreline on lakes where Redroot is present has been developed at present but about 89% of that shoreline is in private hands. Shoreline development is unlikely to eliminate the species entirely but ongoing losses through new development and intensification of existing development are likely to continue through the foreseeable future. With about 99.9% of plants infertile, a low rate of flowering and seed production, different from the southern part of the range, may be a natural limiting factor. This does not appear to limit persistence at known sites but could explain the limited Nova Scotia distribution and extensive unoccupied but apparently suitable habitat both near known populations and further south in Nova Scotia. (Updated 2017/06/13)

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Protection

Federal Protection

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

Redroot is protected by the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill, harm, or collect this species.

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 and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry

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Recovery Team

Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora Recovery Team

  • Sherman Boates - Chair/Contact - Government of Nova Scotia
    Phone: 902-679-6146  Fax: 902-679-6176  Send Email
  • Samara Eaton - Chair/Contact - Environment Canada
    Phone: 506-364-5060  Fax: 506-364-5062  Send Email

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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.

11 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Redroot Lachnanthes caroliniana in Canada (2010)

    Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana) is an herbaceous perennial within the monocot family Haemodoraceae. Its common name comes from the bright orange-red rhizomes, usually visible at or near the soil surface, and its red sap. Redroot has an erect, unbranched stem 15 to 40 cm tall (to 100+ cm in the southern part of its range), and is white-wooly when young, becoming tawny-hoary with age. The leaves are mostly basal and iris-like in shape and arrangement. Inflorescences are tight, flat-topped clusters of flowers having 6 dull yellow petal-like tepals. Under the most recent taxonomic treatment, Redroot is the only species in the genus Lachnanthes and the only Canadian and North American member of its predominantly tropical family. Despite a variety of synonyms having been applied to Redroot, there has never been any dispute regarding its taxonomic rank or its status as a distinct species.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Redroot Lachnanthes caroliniana (2010)

    Assessment Summary – November 2009 Common name Redroot Scientific name Lachnanthes caroliniana Status Special Concern Reason for designation A highly disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain species restricted in Canada mainly to two connected, extensive, lakeshore populations in southern Nova Scotia. Comprehensive new surveys and other information indicate that the risk of extinction for this species is less than previously thought. Its lakeshore habitat has been subject to slow but steady loss and decline in quality due to cottage and residential development for 30 to 40 years. Losses are likely to continue through the foreseeable future with new development and intensification of existing development, but the proportion of habitat currently developed is still low and the species’ locally widespread occurrence and asexual reproduction mitigates the threat of extirpation in the short term. Occurrence Nova Scotia Status history Designated Threatened in April 1994. Status re–examined and confirmed in May 2000. Status re–examined and designated Special Concern in November 2009. Please note that the related COSEWIC Status Report is available below in PDF format. You will be asked to provide your e-mail address then you will receive a link to download the publication. After processing, your email address is not retained in any way and is automatically discarded by our system.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Redroot (2010)

    A highly disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain species restricted in Canada mainly to two connected, extensive, lakeshore populations in southern Nova Scotia. Comprehensive new surveys and other information indicate that the risk of extinction for this species is less than previously thought. Its lakeshore habitat has been subject to slow but steady loss and decline in quality due to cottage and residential development for 30 to 40 years.  Losses are likely to continue through the foreseeable future with new development and intensification of existing development, but the proportion of habitat currently developed is still low and the species’ locally widespread occurrence and asexual reproduction mitigates the threat of extirpation in the short term.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (2016)

    Section 37 of SARA requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species and Section 65 of SARA requires the competent minister to prepare management plans for special concern species. For the SARA-listed species of Special Concern, their inclusion in this combined recovery strategy and management plan will also serve in lieu of a separate management plan as required under SARA (Sections 65-67). The Province of Nova Scotia, Environment Canada, and Parks Canada Agency led the development of this document. This recovery strategy and management plan was developed in cooperation or consultation with numerous other individuals and agencies including environmental non-government organizations, industry stakeholders, aboriginal groups, and private landowners.

Management Plans

  • Recovery Strategy and Management Plan for Multiple Species of Atlantic Coastal Plain Flora in Canada (2010)

    Section 37 of SARA requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species and Section 65 of SARA requires the competent minister to prepare management plans for special concern species. For the SARA-listed species of Special Concern, their inclusion in this combined recovery strategy and management plan will also serve in lieu of a separate management plan as required under SARA (Sections 65-67). The Province of Nova Scotia, Environment Canada, and Parks Canada Agency led the development of this document. This recovery strategy and management plan was developed in cooperation or consultation with numerous other individuals and agencies including environmental non-government organizations, industry stakeholders, aboriginal groups, and private landowners.

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.

Residence Description

  • Residence Rationale - Redroot (2007)

    Individual Redroot plants do not appear to use a dwelling place similar to a nest or den, and therefore do not qualify for having a residence. There would be no additional legal protection not already afforded by protection of the individual and its critical habitat.

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