Victoria's owl-clover (Castilleja victoriae) is a small annual herb 2-20 cm in height. The stem leaves are dull reddish-purple to reddish-brown, lobed, hairy (sometimes glandular sticky), and arranged alternately up the single stem. Flowers are arranged in compact spike-bearing bracts, which are 3-7 lobed. Sepals are pale green to dull reddish-brown, 8-12 mm long and cleft into four lobes. Petals are lemon-yellow and fused into a 2-lipped flower, 10-18 mm in length. Victoria's owl-clover generally grows in Garry oak ecosystems within the Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone (CDFmm) maritime moist variant, in open areas in vernal seeps and along the margins of vernal pools within 50 m of the shoreline.
Victoria's owl-clover was designated as Endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and is on Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). In British Columbia, Victoria's owl-clover is ranked S1 (imperiled) by the Conservation Data Centre and is on the provincial Red list. The B.C. Conservation Framework ranks Victoria's owl-clover as a priority 1 under goal 1 and goal 3 (1 = contribute to global efforts for species and ecosystem conservation; and 3 = maintain the diversity of native species and ecosystems). Recovery is considered to be biologically and technically feasible.
Threats to this species are recreational activities, invasive non-native species, problematic native species and climate change. As well, the species is limited by small population size and is restricted to seasonally wet microhabitats within the highly fragmented and declining Garry oak ecosystem.
The population and distribution goal is to maintain all known extant populations and any future populations of Victoria's owl-clover that may be found or re-established within the species' historical distribution range in British Columbia.
The following are the recovery objectives:
1.to protect known populations and habitats of Victoria's owl-clover throughout the B.C. range;
2. and to reliably determine population trends;
3.to assess, create, and implement a plan to mitigate the main threats to Victoria's owl-clover populations (e.g., recreational activities and invasive species); and
4.to determine if extirpated populations can be restored or re-established within the historical range (e.g. one population at Cattle Point), and if deemed feasible, reintroduce the species.
5.to determine if population augmentation is necessary to maintain two extant populations (Gonzales Point and Harling Point).
B.C. Ministry of Environment. 2015. Recovery Plan for Victoria's Owl-clover (Castilleja victoriae) in British Columbia. Province of B.C.. Recovery Plan
Scientific Name: Castilleja victoriae
English Name: Victoria Owl-clover
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