Scientific Name: Collomia tenella
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2003
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Image of Slender Collomia
Slender Collomia is an annual herb. Its stem is freely branched, spreading at the base and sometimes ascending toward the tip, and may reach a height of 15 cm. The leaves are alternate, elongated and narrow, measuring 1 to 5 cm long and 1.5 mm wide. The pinkish to white flowers grow singly or in pairs at the forks of the branches, at the branch tips, or in the leaf axils, the angle where the leafstalk meets the stem. The corolla, consisting of all the petals, is five-lobed. The calyx, consisting of all the green sepals at the base of the flower, bows out and has small triangular teeth 1 to 2 mm long. The calyx also often has purplish knobs at the notches between the teeth. The fruit is a dry capsule containing a single seed. The seeds are sticky when wet.
Distribution and Population
The Slender Collomia ranges from southwestern British Columbia south into Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming in the United States. In Canada, the Slender Collomia has been observed only in the Similkameen River Valley, in the vicinity of Princeton, in southwestern British Columbia. In 2003, the only Canadian population of Slender Collomia comprised only 127 individuals distributed over an area of 56 m2. At the time that this population was discovered in the Similkameen River Valley in 1997, it comprised only 10 individuals. In 2000, only one individual was observed, and in 2002, none. The plant reappeared in 2003 when environmental conditions were apparently more favourable. Since then, other sites in the area have been surveyed, but no Slender Collomia have been found.
The site where the Slender Collomia occurs in British Columbia consists of the eroded, steep, southeast-facing slopes of a ridge of fine sand. Approximately 20% of the site is covered in sparse vegetation, which consists of a variety of herbs and shrubs, with scattered specimens of Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. There is a risk that invasive plants may propagate on this site, as has happened at several other locations in the vicinity, and thus reduce the area of the habitat suitable for this species.
There is little information on the biology of the Slender Collomia. Because this plant is an annual, it does not appear every year if environmental conditions are unfavourable. The Slender Collomia is thought to be capable of self-fertilization, meaning that the plant can fertilize its flowers with its own pollen, as is the case for other Collomia species. The seeds of this annual become sticky when wet, so they may be dispersed by animals. Because it is not known whether this species can disperse over long distances, the United States population, approximately 140 km away, cannot be counted upon to re-establish the population in British Columbia.
In British Columbia, the most immediate threat to the Slender Collomia comes from the very small size of its population and of the area that this population occupies. Together, these two factors make the population vulnerable to extirpation. In addition, because the habitats suited to this species are very limited in the south of the province, the opportunities for dispersal of seeds are also limited. The other main factors threatening the survival of the Slender Collomia in British Columbia are highway and residential construction, as well as invasive plants, which have already populated neighbouring habitats. All-terrain-vehicle traffic poses another threat to this species. The steep, unstable slopes where this herb grows are very fragile, but by the same token, they also present an attractive challenge to the drivers of these recreational vehicles. Lastly, weed-control activities that are mandatory under the Weed Control Act could affect this species indirectly, as the chemicals used to destroy nuisance plants are not very specific and could kill the Slender Collomia.
Federal ProtectionThe Slender Collomia 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.
The Slender Collomia is not protected by any provincial laws in British Columbia. However, the single population that has been observed in this province is located on a private property that is part of the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve and hence is protected from certain types of development. However, certain activities that might harm this species are not prohibited in the reserve, so that the Slender Collomia population that lives there is still endangered.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus) Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
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 (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (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
Multi-species Recovery Strategy for the Princeton Landscape, including Dwarf Woolly-heads (Psilocarphus brevissimus) Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia (Collomia tenella), and Stoloniferous Pussytoes (Antennaria flagellaris) in Canada (2013)The federal Minister of the Environment is the competent minister for the recovery of the Dwarf Woolly-heads - Southern Mountain Population, Slender Collomia, and Stoloniferous Pussytoes and has prepared the federal component of this multi-species recovery strategy as per section 37 of SARA. It has been prepared in cooperation the Province of British Columbia. SARA section 44 allows the Minister to adopt all or part of an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under the Species at Risk Act for content. Environment Canada has adopted the British Columbia recovery strategy for these plant species and prepared a federal addition to meet the requirements of SARA.
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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