Species Profile

Small-flowered Lipocarpha

Scientific Name: Lipocarpha micrantha
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia, Ontario
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2002
COSEWIC Status: Endangered
COSEWIC Status Criteria: A3ce; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)c(iv)
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: A disjunct species occurring in only three sites with the largest population at risk from potentially significant habitat and population losses.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in April 1992. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in November 2002.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Endangered
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2005-01-12

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.

Go to advanced search

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

Image of Small-flowered Lipocarpha

Small-flowered Lipocarpha Photo 1



Lipocarpha micrantha is a small annual sedge. Mature plants have stems and leaves up to 10cm long and 0.5mm wide. The flowers are inconspicuous in heads 2-6mm long. (Updated 2017/05/25)


Distribution and Population

Lipocarpha micrantha is found from Brazil north to southern Canada. Its range in Canada is extremely fragmented, with confirmed populations in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia and on Sable Island, Lake of the Woods, in Northwestern Ontario. An additional population was discovered in 2000 on Pound Net Bay, Rainy Lake, in northwestern Ontario and likely still persists there. Several populations in southern British Columbia, southern Ontario and southern Quebec have been extirpated. (Updated 2017/05/25)



This species is confined to moist sandy beaches with some protection from waves. It does not tolerate competition or organic sediment. This habitat is highly prized for development. As a consequence much of it has been destroyed. (Updated 2017/05/25)



Lipocarpha micrantha is an annual species. As such it may remain dormant and undetected for years if water levels are unfavourably high. It is very sensitive to habitat conditions, and relatively minor alterations may render an area unliveable for this species. (Updated 2017/05/25)



Habitat destruction is directly linked with the loss of three populations, and remains a threat for one of the remaining populations. Artificial manipulation of water levels also threatens the viability of existing populations. Natural population fluctuations make this species especially susceptible to habitat alteration. (Updated 2017/05/25)



Federal Protection

The Small-flowered Lipocarpha 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.


Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Small-flowered Lipocarpha (Lipocarpha micrantha) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry


Recovery Team

Ontario and BC Small Flowered Lipocarpha Recovery Team

  • Brenda Costanzo - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
    Phone: 250-387-9611  Fax: 250-356-9145  Send Email
  • Hilary Gignac - Chair/Contact - Government of Ontario
    Phone: 807-475-1276  Fax: 807-473-3023  Send Email


Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date A recovery team has been established for Small-flowered Lipocarpha. Additionally, the British Columbia population is addressed in the South Okanagan-Similkameen Conservation Program. Summary of Research/Monitoring Activities In 2003, surveys for Small-flowered Lipocarpha were conducted at sites in Lake of the Woods, Ontario where the flower was historically known to occur. Further surveys are planned to determine population levels and habitat requirements for Small-flowered Lipocarpha in Ontario. Summary of Recovery Activities Five of twelve populations in northwestern Ontario are secured within provincial parks or conservation reserves. The remaining populations are currently secure due to stewardship by private landowners or management agencies. Water management of one reservoir system in Ontario was changed in 2000 to help restore a more natural water level regime, addressing one of the significant threats to this plant.


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

Response Statements

  • Response Statements - Small-flowered Lipocarpha (2004-04-21)

    A response statement is a communications document that identifies how the Minister of the Environment intends to respond to the assessment of a wildlife species by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The document provides a start to the listing and recovery process for those species identified as being at risk, and provides timelines for action to the extent possible.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Small-flowered Lipocarpha (Lipocarpha micrantha) in Canada (2018-06-20)

    The Minister of Environment and Climate Change is the competent minister under SARA for the Small-flowered Lipocarpha 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 (BC) and the Province of Ontario (ON), 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 Small-flowered Lipocarpha (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.


  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (2004-04-21)

    This Order acknowledges receipt by the Governor in Council of the assessments of the status of wildlife species done pursuant to subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The purpose of SARA is to prevent wildlife species from being extirpated or becoming extinct, to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity and to manage species of special concern to prevent them from becoming endangered or threatened.
  • Order Amending Schedules 1 to 3 to the Species at Risk Act (volume 139, number 2, 2005) (2005-01-12)

    Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk of the Species at Risk Act (SARA), is amended by Order of the Governor in Council (GIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, by the addition of 73 species. This Order is based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and follows consultations with provincial and territorial governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the public, and analysis of costs and benefits to Canadians.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2003 (2003-10-01)

    May 2003 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • (2006-07-28)

    The activity involves the removal of invasive plants from sites in which three SARA-listed plants occur. Invasive plants, both introduced and native, are the major threat to the habitats and rare plant species at this site. Once key sites are marked, field crews will remove invasive shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants. Subsequent to this activity, ongoing photographic and plant-response monitoring initiatives will be implemented in order to evaluate the effects of invasive removal activities on the target SAR plants.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species Under the Species At Risk Act: March 2004 (2004-03-03)

    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 (2016-07-06)

    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 December 2, 2021
Date modified: