Species Profile

Showy Phlox

Scientific Name: Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2004
Last COSEWIC Designation: Threatened
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened


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

Image of Showy Phlox

Taxonomy

Although there are six Showy Phlox subspecies, the Occidentalis subspecies is the only one that occurs in British Columbia. Therefore, in Canada, Showy Phlox is referred to solely by this name with no reference to the subspecies.

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Description

Only a single subspecies of showy phlox, Phlox speciosassp. occidentalis, is known from Canada. The species is therefore referred to simply as Phlox speciosathroughout the report. It is a perennial plant with a somewhat shrubby base. Stems are erect, 15-40 cm tall, rising from a woody taproot. The plant is glandular to glandular-hairy above, and hairy below. The opposite leaves are linear to lance-shaped, to 7 cm long and 1 cm wide. The plant has clusters of flowers at the ends of stems, with leafy bracts. Corollas (joined petals) range from pink to white. The corolla tube (1-1.5 cm long) spreads to five wide lobes (1-1.5 cm long) that are notched at the tip. Calyces (joined sepals) are glandular, with flat, transparent segments between the five green ribs. Styles range from 0.5-2 mm long. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Distribution and Population

Historically, the taxon is known to occur in the Okanagan Valley from Summerland in the north, south to Skaha Lake (formerly Dog Lake), and southwest to the Twin Lakes. Extant and newly discovered populations are concentrated in a cluster around Yellow Lake and Twin Lakes, between the towns of Keremeos and Penticton. The known extent of its range in British Columbia is about 57 km². The area of habitat occupied at the known populations is estimated to be between 0.9-1.4 km². (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Habitat

Phlox speciosa seems to require the following habitat features: a very hot, dry, interior climate; open Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) and/or Pinus ponderosa(ponderosa pine) forests or Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush) shrub/grasslands; a specific range of elevations (700-1100 m); and cool aspect slopes or level sites. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Biology

Little specific information is available on the biology of Phlox speciosa. The plant is a perennial, and reproduces by seed. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Threats

A potential threat to Phlox speciosa populations is the lack of protection of natural plant communities throughout the majority of the plant’s range in Canada. Within the current extent of occurrence, 41% of the area is privately owned land, which is particularly vulnerable to changes in land use and development, including range reseeding. Increasing recreational property development represents the most important trend in habitat loss. Canadian populations are also potentially vulnerable given their relatively small area of occupancy. Another potential threat is weed control activities required by the Weed Control Act. Use of marginally specific herbicides that kill broad-leaved plant species would likely kill Phlox speciosa. (Updated 2017/05/25)

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Protection

Federal Protection

The Showy Phlox 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 Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis) in Canada
Status First 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 Showy Phlox Phlox speciosa in Canada (2005)

    Only a single subspecies of showy phlox, Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis, is known from Canada. The species is therefore referred to simply as Phlox speciosa throughout the report. It is a perennial plant with a somewhat shrubby base. Stems are erect, 15-40 cm tall, rising from a woody taproot. The plant is glandular to glandular-hairy above, and hairy below. The opposite leaves are linear to lance-shaped, to 7 cm long and 1 cm wide. The plant has clusters of flowers at the ends of stems, with leafy bracts. Corollas (joined petals) range from pink to white. The corolla tube (1-1.5 cm long) spreads to five wide lobes (1-1.5 cm long) that are notched at the tip. Calyces (joined sepals) are glandular, with flat, transparent segments between the five green ribs. Styles range from 0.5-2 mm long.

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statements - Showy Phlox (2005)

    A showy perennial known from a very small area and from fewer than 10 locations. The species is present within a region subject to on-going habitat loss and degradation as a consequence of private property development, agricultural practices, and the spread of invasive plants.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa ssp. occidentalis) in Canada (2017)

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is the competent minister under SARA for the Showy Phlox and has prepared the federal component of this recovery strategy (Part 1), as per section 37 of SARA. To the extent possible, it has been prepared in cooperation with the Province of British Columbia, as per section 39(1) 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 Province of British Columbia provided the attached recovery strategy for the Showy Phlox (Part 2) as science advice to the jurisdictions responsible for managing the species in British Columbia. It was prepared in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Orders

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005 (2005)

    2005 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 2005 (2005)

    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.

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