Species Profile

Eastern Lilaeopsis

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


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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 Eastern Lilaeopsis

Eastern Lilaeopsis Photo 1
Eastern Lilaeopsis Photo 2

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Description

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.

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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.

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Habitat

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.

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Biology

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.

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Threats

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.

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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.

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.

9 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Eastern Lilaeopsis (2004)

    Small perennial herb reproducing both by seed and extensively by vegetative spread. It is geographically highly restricted and present in Canada at only three estuaries in Nova Scotia. The area of occupancy is very small but the population is large. No declines of significance have been documented over the last 15 years. It does not appear to have any imminent threats, however, future shoreline development or degradation could destroy extant populations.

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 (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.