Scientific Name: Lachnanthes caroliniana
Other/Previous Names: Lachnanthes caroliana
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Nova Scotia
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2009
Last COSEWIC Designation: Special Concern
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Special Concern
Image of Redroot
Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana) is an herbaceous perennial within the monocot family Haemodoraceae. Its common name comes from the bright orange–red rhizomes, usually visible at or near the soil surface, and its red sap. Redroot has an erect, unbranched stem 15 to 40 cm tall (to 100+ cm in the southern part of its range), and is white–wooly when young, becoming tawny–hoary with age. The leaves are mostly basal and iris–like in shape and arrangement. Inflorescences are tight, flat–topped clusters of flowers having 6 dull yellow petal–like tepals. Under the most recent taxonomic treatment, Redroot is the only species in the genus Lachnanthes and the only Canadian and North American member of its predominantly tropical family. Despite a variety of synonyms having been applied to Redroot, there has never been any dispute regarding its taxonomic rank or its status as a distinct species. (Updated 2017/06/13)
Distribution and Population
Redroot is fairly common within about 120 km of the Atlantic coast from eastern Louisiana to North Carolina and in southern New Jersey. It is rare in every other jurisdiction in which it occurs, from Virginia to Long Island, New York and in Nova Scotia. In Canada, Redroot is known from eight connected lakes in southern Nova Scotia. Its Extent of Occurrence is 117 km² but it occupies less than 1.24 km²of actual habitat. (Updated 2017/06/13)
Redroot is a species of wet, acidic, nutrient–poor habitats, occurring primarily within the seasonally inundated shoreline zone of lake and pond shores in the northern part of its range. In the southern portion of its range, it also occurs in wet depressions within mesic pine forests and savannas and is frequent within these habitats in anthropogenically disturbed areas such as trails, ruts and ditches. In Nova Scotia, it is found on lakeshores on boulder, cobble, gravel, sand and peat substrates where seasonal flooding, wave action and ice–scour limit the establishment of more competitive species. Redroot tends to be most abundant on windward (west and south–facing) shores where wave action and ice scour are greatest. Although it can occur in areas remaining shallowly inundated throughout most years, flowering occurs primarily toward the landward limit of its shoreline distribution. (Updated 2017/06/13)
The plant mainly reproduces vegetatively from rhizome buds, but it can also reproduce by seed. Phenology and reproduction are related to water levels. High water levels can inhibit flowering, seedling establishment and vegetative growth. Low levels expose a buried seed bank, thus likely stimulate sexual reproduction. Fluctuating water levels are ideal, since competitors would be set back during high water. Seedling establishment could occur during low water. The plant flowers in August and September in Nova Scotia. Flowering individuals occur only near the upper limit of distribution on the shoreline. Among the thousands of plants seen during a 1989 low-water survey, only 100 were flowering. (Updated 2017/06/13)
Shoreline development is the major anthropogenic threat. Approximately 95% of the 690 buildings around lakes supporting Redroot have been built in the past 40 years. Several hundred cottages and homes likely have Redroot on their properties with more built annually. Where Redroot and shoreline development coincide, there is most often some but not complete loss of habitat and populations. No more than about 6% of available shoreline on lakes where Redroot is present has been developed at present but about 89% of that shoreline is in private hands. Shoreline development is unlikely to eliminate the species entirely but ongoing losses through new development and intensification of existing development are likely to continue through the foreseeable future. With about 99.9% of plants infertile, a low rate of flowering and seed production, different from the southern part of the range, may be a natural limiting factor. This does not appear to limit persistence at known sites but could explain the limited Nova Scotia distribution and extensive unoccupied but apparently suitable habitat both near known populations and further south in Nova Scotia. (Updated 2017/06/13)
Federal ProtectionMore information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Redroot is protected by the Nova Scotia Endangered Species Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill, harm, or collect this species.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
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
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
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.
11 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.)
- Management Plans (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (2 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Residence Description (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Document Posting Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
Response Statement - Redroot (2010)A highly disjunct Atlantic Coastal Plain species restricted in Canada mainly to two connected, extensive, lakeshore populations in southern Nova Scotia. Comprehensive new surveys and other information indicate that the risk of extinction for this species is less than previously thought. Its lakeshore habitat has been subject to slow but steady loss and decline in quality due to cottage and residential development for 30 to 40 years. Losses are likely to continue through the foreseeable future with new development and intensification of existing development, but the proportion of habitat currently developed is still low and the species’ locally widespread occurrence and asexual reproduction mitigates the threat of extirpation in the short term.
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.
Recovery Document Posting Plans
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