Species Profile

Macoun's Meadowfoam

Scientific Name: Limnanthes macounii
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
COSEWIC Range: British Columbia
COSEWIC Assessment Date and Status Change: November 2004
COSEWIC Status: Threatened
COSEWIC Status Criteria: Met criteria for Endangered, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii), but designated Threatened, B1ab(iii)+2ab(iii); D2, because the species does not seem to be at imminent risk of extirpation.
COSEWIC Reason for Designation: A Canadian endemic highly restricted within a narrow coastal fringe of seasonally wet microhabitats where it is at risk from continued competition with a wide range of exotic plants. Its presence in a highly urbanized area results in habitat disruption and population losses.
COSEWIC History of Status Designation: Designated Special Concern in April 1988. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in November 2004.
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Date of Listing (yyyy-mm-dd): 2006-08-15

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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Macoun's Meadowfoam Photo 2



Macoun's Meadowfoam is a small annual plant that measures 2 to 5 cm in height. When small the plants stand erect, when large they droop. The leaves measure 1 to 7 cm in length; fully developed plants have 2 to 5 leaves. The small single white flower measures 7 to 10 mm in diameter. The fruit are small greyish-green to brown nuts that measure 3 mm in length.


Distribution and Population

In Canada, Macoun's Meadowfoam is found only in British Columbia.



Macoun's Meadowfoam grows in open areas, close to the shore of the Pacific Ocean, that are wet in the winter and dry in the summer. Since Macoun's Meadowfoam is an annual that grows during the winter months, a maritime climate with a mild winter are essential for this plant.



The vegetative period of Macoun's Meadowfoam is from the beginning of October to the beginning of June; it germinates after the first heavy rains of autumn. The flower stalks develop in February and March; flowering occurs at the end of March or the beginning of April. Macoun's Meadowfoam reproduces through seeds; insects are the main pollinators. The single flower on a plant produces 3 to 4 small nuts which fall from the plant and remain close to it. The plants die in June.



Habitat destruction or modification is the greatest threat to populations of Macoun's Meadowfoam. This is due to the fact that this plant grows in waterfront areas with excellent climatic conditions - areas that are also choice residential locations. Competition with introduced plant species is also a major threat. Invasive species such as various exotic grasses, sub clover (Trifolium subterraneum), field burrweed (Soliva sessilis), and bulbous bluegrass (Poa bulbosa) are taking the place of Macoun's Meadowfoam.



Federal Protection

The Macoun's Meadowfoam 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 Macoun’s Meadowfoam (Limnanthes macounii) in Canada
Status First 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.

13 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

Response Statements

  • Response Statements - Macoun's Meadowfoam (2005-11-15)

    A Canadian endemic highly restricted within a narrow coastal fringe of seasonally wet microhabitats where it is at risk from continued competition with a wide range of exotic plants. Its presence in a highly urbanized area results in habitat disruption and population losses.

Recovery Strategies

Action Plans

  • Multi-species Action Plan for Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site of Canada (2017-08-24)

    The Multi-species Action Plan for Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site of Canada (Fort Rodd Hill) applies to lands occurring within the boundaries of the site. 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 Fort Rodd Hill.


COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2005 (2005-08-12)

    2005 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Permits and Related Agreements

  • Explanation for issuing permit(#FRH-2016-21599-SARA ), persuant to the provisions of section 74 of SARA (2016-06-01)

    Parks Canada will collect seeds or other propagules, grow plants in a nursery, prepare and maintain translocation sites and out-plant the resulting stock to suitable sites at Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and or Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site to increase populations of a number of species at risk in coastal sand dune and Garry Oak ecosystems, as per the recovery strategies for the species.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2007-0050), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2007-05-08)

    In order to protect a suite of SARA Schedule 1 plants at risk from habitat degradation at various federal properties, invasive species will be removed from the area adjacent to sub-populations of these species at risk by pulling by hand or manually cutting. Invasion of exotic species has been identified as a serious and increasing threat to these sub-populations. The invasive species biomass will be removed from the sites. Removal of invasive plants is believed to increase habitat availability for plants at risk, prevent future competition, as well as increase plant vigour, seed production and population size.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2009-0126), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2010-02-04)

    The goal of this project is to protect selected populations of rare species from habitat degradation due to invasive species or conifer encroachment. The species include: Bartramia stricta, Rigid Apple Moss Dryopteris arguta, Coastal Wood Fern Enthostodon fascicularis,Banded Cord-moss Epilobium densiflorum, Dense Spike-primrose Limnanthes macounii ,Macoun's Meadowfoam Lotus formosissimus, Seaside Birds-foot Lotus Lupinus densiflorus, Dense-flowered Lupine Meconella oregano, White Meconella Microseris bigelovii, Coast Microseris Minuartia pusilla, Dwarf Sandwort Ranunculus alismifolius, Water-plantain Buttercup Sanicula arctopoides, Bear's-foot Sanicle Sanicula bipinnatifida, Purple Sanicle Tortula laevipila, Twisted Oak Moss The permit proposal is for multi-year species at risk (SAR) stewardship activities at several Department of National Defence (DND) properties on Southern Vancouver Island. The SAR at each site occur in open meadows that are being encroached by invasive species such as: Scotch broom, English ivy, gorse, English holly, Daphne spurge, English hawthorn, herbaceous annual and biennial weeds, annual and perennial grasses and/or conifers. The goal is to remove the invading species from the area within and adjacent to the selected SAR populations.
  • Explanation for issuing permit(#SARA-PYR-2010-0142), persuant to the provisions of section 73 of SARA (2010-05-06)

    The proposed activity is to continue tilling the fire break at Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot (CFAD) Rocky Point, while managing for a newly discovered plant species at risk. The activity of tilling will take place within the established firebreak zone at CFAD Rocky Point. The firebreak is located around the perimeter fence that separates the ammunition storage depot from the remainder of the CFAD Rocky Point property. The Macoun's Meadowfoam is currently found in the firebreak on the west and north side of the compound.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species Under the Species At Risk Act: November 2005 (2005-11-16)

    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.


  • Public Registry Notice for s.83 Exceptions - CFB Esquimalt (2015-03-06)

    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.
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