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Bashful Bulrush (Trichophorum Planifolium)

Evaluation and Proposed Status

Existing Legal Protection or Other Status

The sites in the Rouge River valley are owned by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and managed by the Conservation Authority, the City of Toronto Parks Department, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The Hamilton sites are owned and managed by the Royal Botanical Gardens. These organizations are aware of the presence of this species and are committed to its protection (T. Smith, S. Varga, pers. com., 1999).

Assessment of Status and Author’s Recommendation

Bashful Bulrush was designated as vulnerable by COSEWIC in 1986. Although the plant had a very limited range in Canada, most of the populations were sizeable and seemed secure at the time (Crins, 1986). In 1986, the plant was known from two populations in Toronto and four populations in Hamilton

When the status designation of vulnerable was assigned in 1986, Bashful Bulrush was known from two areas: the Rouge River valley in Toronto and the RBG in Hamilton. At least two populations, and perhaps others, still occur in the RBG. The Rouge valley population, however, is very precarious, consisting of only a single clump in a hazardous location next to an active coyote or fox den. Since 1986, experienced field botanists Steve Varga, Bill Crins, John Riley, Don Sutherland, and others have looked for this species in other apparently suitable habitats in the Toronto and Hamilton areas but no new sites have been found (Oldham, 1999). The few populations/sub-populations present in Canada have declined by at least 50%. A designation of Endangered is warranted for this species.