Wood-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) recovery strategy: chapter 1

Recovery Strategy for the Wood-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) in Canada

Under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk (1996), the federal, provincial, and territorial governments agreed to work together on legislation, programs, and policies to protect wildlife species at risk throughout Canada.

In the spirit of cooperation of the Accord, the Government of Ontario has given permission to the Government of Canada to adopt the Recovery strategy for the Wood-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) in Canada under Section 44 of the Species at Risk Act (SARA). Details are provided in the addenda of this document.

This recovery strategy is the recovery strategy of the Minister of the Environment of Canada for this species.

May 2007


Bowles, Jane M.  2007. Recovery Strategy for Wood-poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) in Canada. 24 pp.

Additional copies can be downloaded from the SARA Public Registry (www.sararegistry.gc.ca/)

Cover Sketch : Jane Bowles

Également disponible en français sous le titre « Programme de rétablissement du stylophore à deux feuilles (Stylophorum diphyllum) au Canada »

Content (excluding the illustrations) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.



Wood-poppy occurs in the province of Ontario, and the recovery strategy was developed by the province.  The Canadian Wildlife Service - Ontario Region, on behalf of the competent minister (the Minister of the Environment), cooperated in the development of the recovery strategy. 



The recovery strategy was developed by Jane M. Bowles under the direction of the following Recovery Team members:  

Dan Shaefer (Former Chair), Middlesex Stewardship Council

Bonnie Bergsma, City of London

David Galbraith, Royal Botanical Gardens

Elaine Gosnell, Ecologistics Ltd.

Dave Jolly, Earthquest (Canada) for the Environment

Cathy Quinlan, Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

Joyce and Everett Robson

David Stephenson, Natural Resources Solutions

Dan Vanhie

Ann White, McIlwraith Field Naturalists of London, Inc.

Allen Woodliffe, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources


The following people and organizations have contributed in various ways including giving financial support, supplying background information, helping with field work and commenting on earlier drafts: Mike Oldham, Bill Draper, Mary Gartshore, Peter Duenk, Caroline Rasenberg,  Mark McCormack, Peter Moc, Jim Phipps, Ian Wilcox, Brenda Gallagher, Karen Pugh, Sandra Mackin, Karen Hartley, Hal Schraeder, Paul Prevett, Brad White, The London Community Foundation, the Agricultural Adaptation Council, the Community Wildlife Involvement Program, the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario (COSSARO), Wildlife Habitat Canada, The Middlesex Stewardship Council and the University of Western Ontario Environmental Sciences Field Station.


Wood-poppy is under the management jurisdiction of the Ontario provincial government. 

The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent Minister to prepare a recovery strategy for all listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species.  SARA Section 44(1) allows the Minister to adopt an existing plan for the species if it meets the requirements under SARA for content and process (Sections 39-41).

Wood-poppy was listed as Endangered by COSEWIC in May 2000, and was added to Schedule 1 of SARA in June 2003.  The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources led the development of this recovery strategy for the species in cooperation with the Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario Region, Environment Canada.  All responsible jurisdictions reviewed and acknowledged receipt of the strategy. 


Wood-poppy is a long-lived, herbaceous, spring-flowering perennial.  There are only three known populations of the species in Canada, comprising about: 24; 250; and, 150 mature plants each.  The species is listed as N1, Endangered in Canada (COSEWIC, 2004), listed under Schedule 1 of the Species at Risk Act, ranked S1 in Ontario, listed as Endangered in Ontario and is ranked G5 globally.   It was regulated as Endangered under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act in 1994.  The centre of its range is western Virginia, Kentucky and southern Illinois.

In 1997 a Wood-poppy Recovery team was formed in response to immediate threats to the Wood-poppy and its habitat.  Seven years of recovery action have resulted in 1) the discovery of an additional site; 2) co-operation with private landowners of Wood-poppy sites; 3) establishment of two ex-situ populations of known maternal lines; 4) information about the breeding biology of Wood-poppy in Canada, including identification of seed predation and possible lack of germination sites as important factors limiting recruitment; 5) collection and preparation of material from Canadian and US populations for genetic studies; and 6) articles and newspaper columns to raise awareness about the species.

Critical habitat has been identified in this recovery strategy and includes the current area that the populations occupy plus the surrounding polygon of the same Ecological Land Classification (ELC) vegetation type.  This identification will be refined following the completion of the Schedule of Studies. 

The goals of the Recovery Strategy are to ensure that extant populations of Wood-poppy are protected with no loss of numbers of mature individuals, to secure the habitat, and to restore populations at all known localities to numbers and demographic structures that are self sustaining.  This will be achieved through improving degraded habitat, increasing landowner commitment through stewardship incentives, monitoring to determine viable population numbers and demographics, out-planting ex situ progeny at the smallest population, continuing studies on seed dispersal and survivorship, and assessment of genetic variability within and between populations.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: