White Wood Aster
Scientific Name: Eurybia divaricata
Other/Previous Names: Aster divaricatus
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: Ontario, Quebec
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2002
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: Met criteria for Endangered, B2ab(iii), but designated Threatened, D2, because it is present at about 25 sites in two regions of Ontario and Quebec, with several of these populations present in protected areas.
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: Geographically restricted and fragmented populations at risk from continued habitat loss, invasive species, deer browsing and recreational activities impacting populations along trails.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Threatened in April 1995. Status re-examined and confirmed in November 2002.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
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.
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Image of White Wood Aster
Eurybia divaricata is a fall-flowering herbaceous perennial. Deeply serrated upper leaves and narrowly heart-shaped lower leaves characterize this species. Flat-topped clusters of small flower heads also distinguish it. The flower heads are yellow and purple in the center with white rays. (Updated 2017/05/24)
Distribution and Population
Eurybia divaricata occurs in Canada and the United States. This species is generally common throughout its main range in the Appalachian Mountains, and from New England south to Georgia and Alabama. In Canada, Eurybia divaricata occurs in scattered populations in the Niagara Region of southern Ontario and in a few woodlots in southwestern Quebec. (Updated 2017/05/24)
This species inhabits dry to moist deciduous woodlands with well-drained soils and relatively open canopies. (Updated 2017/05/24)
Flowering occurs in early August to September. Fruiting occurs in mid to late September. This species spreads clonally through rhizomes. (Updated 2017/05/24)
The major threats to this species are habitat loss, grazing by deer and consumption by weevils, tramping and possibly invasive species. (Updated 2017/05/24)
The White Wood Aster 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.
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name National Recovery Strategy for the White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata)
Status Recovery team/planner in place
Name Conservation plan for White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata) in Quebec
Status Recovery team/planner in place
Name Recovery Strategy for the White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
White Wood Aster Recovery Team
Melinda Thompson-Black - Chair/Contact - Private consultant
Phone: 519-822-1609 Fax: 519-822-5389 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.
13 record(s) found.
Reports on the Progress of Recovery Document Implementation
This document reports on implementation of the Multi-species Action Plan for Point Pelee National Park of Canada and Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada between 2016 and 2021. It reports on implementation of measures identified in the plan, assesses progress towards meeting site-based population and distribution objectives, and evaluates socio-economic impacts.
COSEWIC Status Reports
Eurybia divaricata is a fall-flowering herbaceous perennial. Deeply serrated upper leaves and narrowly heart-shaped lower leaves characterize this species. Flat-topped clusters of small flower heads also distinguish it. The flower heads are yellow and purple in the center with white rays.
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.
In Canada, the White Wood Aster (Eurybia divaricata) occurs in southern Ontario and in southwestern Quebec. The species is listed as Threatened under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The species is ranked as Imperilled to Vulnerable in Canada (N2N3) and Ontario (S2S3) and Imperilled in Quebec (S2). The global range of the White Wood Aster is restricted to eastern North America, and it reaches its southern limit in the U.S. states of Georgia and Alabama. The species’ northern limit is in Canada where there are a total of 56 known extant local populations; 12 in southwestern Quebec and 44 in southern Ontario.
The Multi-species Action Plan for Point Pelee National Park of Canada and the Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada applies to lands and waters occurring within the boundaries of the two sites: Point Pelee National Park of Canada (PPNP) and the Niagara National Historic Sites of Canada (NNHS). The NNHS is being used as a term to collectively refer to two locations in the Niagara region that consist of three National Historic Sites: Fort George National Historic Site, Battlefield of Fort George National Historic Site, and Butler’s Barracks National Historic Sites of Canada. The plan meets the requirements for action plans set out in the Species At Risk Act (SARA s.47) for species requiring an action plan and that regularly occur in these sites. Measures described in this plan will also provide benefits for other species of conservation concern that regularly occur at PPNP and at NNHS.
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.
The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.
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
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
Fauna and flora survey and identification of potential habitats for species at risk on the territory of Kahnawake.
The immediate goal of this project is to protect selected populations from habitat degradation due to invasive species and human activities, and the effects of browsing.
In the case of Sanicula arctopoides and Lotus formosissimus, which occur in open meadows that are being encroached by Scotch broom, thistles and tansy ragwort, these invasive species will be removed from the area adjacent to the selected subpopulations and monitored. Mesh cages were previously installed over individuals to protect them from browsing. It is postulated that the SAR will benefit from these activities through increased habitat availability, competition reduction with encroaching invasives. Also, it is thought that the elimination of browsing will increase plant vigour, seed production, and over time, population size.
Subpopulations of Seriocarpus rigidus are also thought to be threatened by competition from invasive species, although the invasives may also be providing protection from browsing. To prevent management errors and put the species at further risk, the applicants will determine the impact of this removal on predation from herbivores on a small scale. Scotch broom and other herbaceous weeds will be removed from small patches of the subpopulations that are being dominated by Scotch broom while leaving the remaining subpopulations undisturbed. Over time, the impacts of this removal will be assessed by monitoring for browsing activity and plant vigour.
Sanicula bipinnatifida is being threatened by habitat degradation (soil erosion facilitated by human activities) and encroaching invasive species at the Macaulay Point site. A split-rail fence was previously installed on the crest of the upper slope of the subpopulation to redirect foot traffic to the formal pathways and away from the species at risk. Also, approximately one hectare of invasive woody species was removed from the site in 2004-05. The effects of these activities on the species at risk will be monitored by assessing the species for leaf damage throughout its growing season.
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 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