Species Profile

Skinner's Agalinis

Scientific Name: Agalinis skinneriana
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: Ontario
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2010
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: A highly restricted annual species of tallgrass prairie known in Canada from only two populations in southwestern Ontario. Recent losses of subpopulations have resulted in a decline in range, habitat area and quality, and number of mature individuals.  
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Endangered in April 1988. Status re-examined and confirmed Endangered in April 1999, May 2000, and November 2010.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2003-06-05

Please note that this information is provided for general information purposes only. For the most up to date and accurate list of species listed under the Species at Risk Act, please see the Justice Laws Website.

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

Image of Skinner's Agalinis

Skinner's Agalinis Photo 1
Skinner's Agalinis Photo 3



Skinner's Agalinis is an annual herb which measures 10 to 60.5 cm in height. The stem is pale green and may have a few branches near the top. The leaves measure 5 to 20 mm in length and 0.5 to 1 mm in width, and have rough short hairs. The flower is bell shaped and measures 10 to 17 mm in length. The corolla of the flower is pink to white, with pale yellow lines and pale red spots; there are fine hairs on the exterior surfaces of the flower. The capsules are round; the yellow to tan seeds measure 0.5 to 1 mm in length.


Distribution and Population

Skinner's Agalinis occurs in eastern U.S.A. and in extreme southwestern Ontario. In 1987, there were 11 sites known on Walpole and Squirrel islands in Lambton County, Ontario, and one small site in neighbouring Essex County. Only five of the Lambton sites still contained specimens in 1997; the current status of the Essex site is unknown.



Skinner's Agalinis grows in dry prairies, open woods, rocky open glades, bluffs or pockets among sand dunes, where the soil is shallow.



In Canada, Skinner's Agalinis flowers from August to mid-September. The fruit matures in late September or October. This plant reproduces mainly through seeds.



Loss of habitat and human disturbances are the main limiting factors for Canadian populations of Skinner's Agalinis. In addition, the prairie remnants on the delta islands are subject to changes in water levels, invasion by competitive species, and changes in species composition resulting from fire suppression.



Federal Protection

The Skinner's Agalinis 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 Skinner's Agalinis occurs on land belonging to the Walpole Island First Nation, which is federal land protected under SARA. It is protected elsewhere by the Ontario Endangered Species Act. Under this Act, it is prohibited to kill, harm, harass, or collect this species, or to destroy its habitat.

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 Skinner’s Agalinis (Agalinis skinneriana) 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.

5 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Skinner's Agalinis Agalinis skinneriana in Canada (2011-09-09)

    Skinner’s Agalinis (Agalinis skinneriana) is a small, slender, annual, herb that may reach 65 cm in height. The stem is usually simple or with a few ascending branches in the upper plant, square in cross-section with stiff corners and slightly rough on the angles. The leaves are more or less opposite, without stalks, linear, and up to 2 mm wide and 20 mm long. Both the leaves and stem are a yellowish green, diffused with brownish purple late in the season, but drying green. The inflorescence is a raceme, with usually one, but sometimes two flowers per node. The flower stalk is 5-20 mm long, sometimes becoming longer in fruit. The fused petals are white, sometimes with a pale flush of the faintest pink. Capsules are roundish, about 4-5 mm in diameter and split open at maturity. The seeds are brownish yellow, triangular and covered with a net-like ridging on the seed coat.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Skinner's Agalinis (2011-12-08)

    A highly restricted annual species of tallgrass prairie known in Canada from only two populations in southwestern Ontario. Recent losses of subpopulations have resulted in a decline in range, habitat area and quality, and number of mature individuals.  

Recovery Strategies

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 - 2011 (2011-09-09)

    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”. COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings during the past year assessing the status or reviewing the classification of a total of 92 wildlife species.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#19), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2006-06-01)

    Activities may include any of the following for any species: Collection of small amounts of seed (<1%) for propagation ex situ for the pupose of studying seed viability, germination condisions and rates. Collection of a mall proportion (<1%) of inflorescences or flowers for the purpose of determining fertility, seed predation rates, etc. Removal of a small number (<0.1%) of individuals of annual species (e.g. Agalinus spp.) for research on habitat and microsite requirements. Collection of seed for the purpose of propagation ex situ plants to provide material for research and/or for restoration projects. Mapping location, counting and setting up permanent study quadrats may sometime involve accidental trampling of some plants and portions of some habitat. This will be kept to a minimum. Some perturbation of habitat may occur during removal of invasive species. Some experimental purturbation of habitat for restoration purposes may be done in locations where species at risk are thought to be extirpated.
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