Nine more vegetative species now protected under provincial legislation

Gary Kean
Published on September 27, 2013

CORNER BROOK  The provincial government has added nine species of rare plants and lichen for protection under the Endangered Species Act as either endangered or threatened, with at least five of them found in this province only on the western coast.

The species of flora are found elsewhere in North America or, in some cases, Europe, but are found only in few locations within Newfoundland and Labrador.

One lichen, namely the graceful felt lichen/vole ears (Erioderma mollissimum) found at two locations on the Avalon Peninsula, is joined on the list by eight other rare plants.

Among the plants are the cutleaf fleabane (Erigeron compositus), which is found along the lower Humber River; the Alaska rein orchid (Platanthera foetida), found near Port au Choix; Bodin’s milkvetch (Astragalus bodinii), found near Cook’s Harbour; the oval-leafed creeping spearwort (Ranunculus flammula, variation: ovalis), found at Port au Choix and Point Riche; and Lindley’s aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum), found in areas around Stephenville and the Port au Port Peninsula.

The other plants on the list include feathery false Solomon's seal (Maianthemum racemosum, subspecies: racemosum), rock-dwelling sedge (Carex petricosa variation: misandroides) and the Vreeland's striped coralroot (Corallorhiza striata variation: vreelandii).

Currently, the total number of species, subspecies and populations listed under the province’s Endangered Species Act is 44, including 21 endangered, 10 threatened and 13 vulnerable species.

 “Species listed as endangered are in imminent risk of extinction and those listed as threatened are species likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors limiting their survival,” said Environment and Conversation Minister Tom Hedderson in a press release.

Listing of species added


Graceful felt lichen/vole ears (Erioderma mollissimum): a leafy lichen that is grey in colour when dry and turns brown when wet. Its name reflects the fact that the lobes look similar to ears of a small mammal called a vole. It is known to two localities on the Avalon Peninsula: Hall’s Gullies and Southeast Placentia. In Newfoundland and Labrador, only 20 mature individuals have been found on 10 trees.


Bodin's milkvetch (Astragalus bodinii): a small, freely-branching, carpet forming plant in the pea family.  It has showy, pinkish-blue flowers and divided leaves. It is known in Newfoundland and Labrador from only one small population near Cook’s Harbour on the Northern Peninsula.


Cutleaf fleabane (Erigeron compositus): a semi-woody perennial with a tap root with tansy-like flower heads. It is known in Newfoundland and Labrador in only one small population along the lower Humber River, near Corner Brook.


Alaska rein orchid (Platanthera foetida): a very slender, white-flowered, perennial orchid. It is known in Newfoundland and Labrador from only one small population near Port au Choix.


Feathery false solomon's seal (Maianthemum racemosum subsp. racemosum): a lily-like plant that closely resembles the garden variety Solomon’s seal. It produces small, white, star-like flowers in a terminal cluster, followed by fruit that turn a deep translucent red at maturity. It is known from only two locations in Newfoundland and Labrador.


Lindley’s aster (Symphyotrichum ciliolatum): a perennial plant that is usually 30 to 100 cm tall. It has purple-blue flowers with yellow centers that become reddish over the flowering period. Its leaves are thin, serrated and, heart-shaped. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it is only found in areas around Stephenville and the Port-au-Port Peninsula.


Oval-leaved creeping Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula var. ovalis): a small, amphibious, trailing buttercup. In Newfoundland and Labrador, it is currently found in two locations on the Northern Peninsula, at Port au Choix and Point Riche.


Rock-dwelling sedge (Carex petricosa var. misandroides): found in limestone habitats including cliffs, barrens and slopes. Worldwide, this species is known only in Newfoundland and Labrador and Quebec.


Vreeland's striped Coralroot (Corallorhiza striata var. vreelandii): a perennial orchid that is yellowish in colour, whose flowers are yellow with magenta stripes. This large (10-44 cm tall) orchid is limited to two locations in insular Newfoundland and Labrador.


Source: Government of Newfoundland and Labrador