Species Profile

Lindley's False Silverpuffs

Scientific Name: Uropappus lindleyi
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: British Columbia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2008
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered

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Quick Links: | Description | Habitat | Biology | Threats | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | Recovery Team | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Lindley's False Silverpuffs


Lindley’s False Silverpuffs is an annual 10 to 70 cm tall. It usually has an unbranched stem. The basal leaves, which are 15 to 30 cm long, are narrow and long-pointed. The stem leaves are usually long and narrow; they grow on the bottom half of the stem. The flowers grow at the tips of flower stalks. These flowers are actually heads composed of many small yellow flowers on a common receptacle. The base of the head is surrounded by a group of small leaves, called bracts. These bracts, which are shaped like the head of a lance, are 15 to 30 mm long. The seeds are contained in dry fruit called achenes. The achenes are 7 to 17 mm long, slender, blackish, finely ribbed and crowned by a tuft of fine white hairs.


Distribution and Population

The range of Lindley’s False Silverpuffs extends from southwestern British Columbia disjunctly to Idaho and central Washington and south to Oregon, Utah, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. It was previously observed in 1956 in the San Juan Islands in northwestern Washington. In Canada, Lindley’s False Silverpuffs is known from only the Gulf Islands in southwestern British Columbia. The species was first reported in 1974 in five localities in the Gulf Islands (Ruxton, North Pender, Galiano and Saturna islands), where it was still extant during the most recent surveys, in 2003 and 2004. One additional population was recorded in 1998, on southern Vancouver Island. This population has probably since been extirpated as a result of housing development. Existing population sizes range from 20 to 1200 plants. The total Canadian population is estimated at about 2000 individuals. Population trends are not known, and they will be difficult to assess because this species is an annual. The potential for rescue from the closest populations in the United States, 300 km away, is very low. Even locally, seed or pollen exchanges are rare, since existing populations are 10 to 15 km apart.



Populations of Lindley’s False Silverpuffs in British Columbia are found in Garry oak stands or neighbouring areas in southeastern Vancouver Island and the adjacent Gulf Islands. This area is in a rain shadow cast by the Olympic Mountains to the southwest and the Vancouver Island Ranges to the west, and it has a relatively warm and dry Mediterranean-like climate. The species is found in several different habitats, ranging from sandstone cliffs and steep, grassy slopes to dry, open deciduous or evergreen forests. On sandstone cliffs, the plants grow in cracks and on ledges among the few other plants growing there, such as Alaska brome and great camas. The steep, grassy slope locations are occupied mainly by exotic species such as early hairgrass and ripgut brome. Habitat trends for Lindley’s False Silverpuffs in Canada are unknown, but the species undoubtedly faces the same threats as the Garry oak ecosystems in which it is found—agricultural development, urbanization and invasion by aggressive introduced species.



In British Columbia, flowering of Lindley’s False Silverpuffs has been observed from late April to mid-May, with seed production occurring in mid-May to June. The flowers in this annual can be fertilized by their own pollen. Mature flowers and others still in bud can be found on the same plant. The ring of fine hairs with their bristly tips at the top of the fruit could attach to bird feathers, and this may possibly enable long-distance dispersal. Most seeds, however, are probably dispersed locally by wind and gravity.



In British Columbia, the most immediate threat to Lindley’s False Silverpuffs is habitat destruction through housing development. Nearly all the populations are located on highly desirable private property with ocean views. A marked increase in housing development on Salt Spring Island is related to the 78% increase in the human population between 1986 and 2001. Growth projections indicate a further increase of 43% by 2026. By increasing the geographic isolation of the populations, habitat destruction also threatens the species indirectly. Significant fragmentation of the habitat limits the ability of the species to become established in new locations or to re-establish extirpated populations. In addition, a large proportion of the remaining habitat suitable for Lindley’s False Silverpuffs has been heavily altered by introduced species.



Federal Protection

The Lindley's False Silverpuffs 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.

In British Columbia, Lindley’s False Silverpuffs is not protected under any provincial statute.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.


Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Lindley's False Silverpuffs (Uropappus lindleyi) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry


Recovery Team

Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team

  • Conan Webb - Chair/Contact - Parks Canada
    Phone: 250-478-5153  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

  • COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Lindley’s false silverpuffs (Uropappus lindleyi) in Canada (2008)

    Lindley’s false silverpuffs (Uropappus lindleyi, formerly named Microseris lindleyi), a member of the aster family, is approximately 10-70 cm tall and usually has a simple stem growing from a slender taproot. The long leaves at the base of the plant are linear and pointed at the tip. The stem leaves are usually linear and occur on the bottom half of the stems. The flowering stems emerge from the base or from the axils of the stem leaves. The solitary, terminal flowering heads have strap-shaped, yellow flowers.

COSEWIC Assessments

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Lindley's False Silverpuffs (2008)

    An annual flowering plant of British Columbia restricted to only five extant locations in the Gulf Islands. The species is no longer known to occur on Vancouver Island. There are extremely small numbers of individuals known in Canada. The species is also at continued risk from habitat loss and degradation from such factors as home building and spread of invasive plants.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Lindley's False Silverpuffs (Uropappus lindleyi) in Canada (2013)

    The Canadian population of the Lindley’s False Silverpuffs (Uropappus lindleyi) was assessed as Endangered in 2008 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), and in February 2010, the species was listed as Endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA). Lindley’s False Silverpuffs is a flowering plant approximately 10-70 cm tall with a simple stem growing from a slender taproot and terminating with a single flower head. Flower heads contain strap-shaped, yellow flowers that bear seeds on a tuft of five bright, silvery scales. This species’ range extends from southwestern British Columbia to California and east to Texas and Utah; it occurs as a disjunct population in Idaho and central Washington. In Canada, Lindley’s False Silverpuffs is known from six isolated populations, one site on southeastern Vancouver Island and five sites on the Gulf Islands. The Canadian population of Lindley’s False Silverpuffs comprises


COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2007 - 2008 (2008)

    2008 Annual Report to the The Minister of the Environment and 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: Terrestrial Species (2009)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by March 20, 2009 for species undergoing normal consultations and by March 19, 2010 for species undergoing extended consultations.


  • Public Registry Notice for s.83 Exceptions - CFB Esquimalt (2015)

    Operations directed to ensuring that training areas are sustainable for activities related to national defence/security. Specifically, the exceptions apply to activities for the control and management of vegetation that interferes with, or restricts, training.