Introduction: Plants at Risk in Saskatchewan

The flora of Saskatchewan includes over 1,450 species and is an essential component of Canada’s biodiversity and scientific research. Similarly, the significance of the SASK Herbarium collection to Saskatchewan’s biodiversity and natural heritage is evident. With a collection of specimens dating back to 1883, the SASK Herbarium has a comprehensive chronological, historical, taxonomic, and geographic record of provincial plants. No other research institution has such complete information on the geographic, taxonomic, and plant rarity status of Saskatchewan flora.

While increasing rates of extinction, rare species, and discrepancies regarding the number of plant species in the world are issues currently being investigated, Saskatchewan, with over 400 rare species (provincially extirpated, endangered, threatened, or vulnerable), is in need of additional botanical research and financial support to join Canadian efforts in biodiversity studies.

Numerous species are at risk because of anthropogenic and natural changes in the environment, biological factors of the plants, and limited population numbers. Because of the high incidence of rare and endemic plants, and the relatively critical state of knowledge of the Canadian boreal forests, this project addresses issues regarding species diversity, rarity status, and distribution of native plants using biodiversity-based research in the Saskatchewan boreal plant communities.

The goal of the Virtual Gallery of Species at Risk in Saskatchewan is to provide quality information on all 418 provincially endangered, threatened, or vulnerable plants. The gallery provides information on the characteristics, habitat, and rarity status of each species, in an attempt to raise awareness and promote community involvement in their conservation. In addition, we provide information on how to distinguish the rare plants from other, closely related species.

If you locate a plant depicted in the virtual gallery, we request that you leave it in its natural habitat and report the occurrence to the W. P. Fraser Herbarium (SASK Herbarium).

If you have questions about these or other plant species in Saskatchewan, or about searching the rare plant database, contact the Herbarium at the address below.

The SASK Herbarium (W. P. Fraser Herbarium)
Department of Plant Sciences
University of Saskatchewan
51 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7N 5A8 Canada
(306) 966-4968
sask.herbarium@usask.ca