Scientific Name: Lilaeopsis chinensis
Other/Previous Names: Lilaeopsis
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Nova Scotia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2004
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern
Image of Eastern Lilaeopsis
The Eastern Lilaeopsis is a small herbaceous plant that grows low to the ground. Dark leaf-like structures grow from a thin rhizome, which is a horizontal underground stem. The entire plant is only a few centimetres tall. A cluster of five to seven white flowers grows at the tip of a stem growing from the rhizome.
Distribution and Population
In Canada, the Eastern Lilaeopsis is only found on the southern coast of Nova Scotia. In the United States, it is found along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida and west along the Gulf Coast of Texas. The populations in Canada are found in three estuaries at the mouths of the Tusket, Medway and LaHave rivers. The distribution within sites is patchy. Since the plants are connected by rhizomes, counting individual plants is nearly impossible. The number of leaves and flowers were therefore used to estimate population numbers. The population at Tusket is estimated to be 660 000 to 1 300 000 leaves or 84 000 to 110 000 flowers. The Medway site is estimated to have 1.7 to 2.3 million leaves or 46 000 to 77 000 flowers. The LaHave population is estimated to have 56 000 to 110 000 leaves or up to 300 flowers. The population trend is unknown but it is likely stable.
The Eastern Lilaeopsis grows in long, narrow estuaries at the mouths of large rivers that are separated from the open ocean. It is a plant of the intertidal zone and grows on gently sloping mudflats, often between large shoreline boulders. This species flowered profusely when grown artificially in fresh water but, in nature, it is confined to the brackish water of the intertidal zone due to its inability to compete with the taller vegetation found inland.
The Eastern Lilaeopsis produces clusters of five to seven flowers at the end of a thin stem. Flowering occurs in August and September and most plants in Nova Scotia produce seed by mid-September. Reproduction can be asexual or sexual but most plants are thought to arise through asexual growth via the rhizomes. Methods of cross-pollination are unknown, although self-pollination is known to occur. This species appears to be adaptable and able to withstand considerable natural disturbance. It seems to be limited by competition and poor ability to disperse.
The largest threat to the Eastern Lilaeopsis is human disturbance along shorelines. Some shores have been changed from mud to artificial rocky shores, which eliminates habitat and prevents colonization. Changes in sea level due to global warming may also threaten this species over the long term.
Federal ProtectionMore information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
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
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
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 (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Management Plans (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
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.
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