Species Profile

Four-leaved Milkweed

Scientific Name: Asclepias quadrifolia
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: April 2010
Last COSEWIC Designation: Endangered
SARA Status: No schedule, No Status

Individuals of this species may be protected under Schedule 1 under another name; for more information see Schedule 1, the A-Z Species List, or if applicable, the Related Species table below.


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Protection

Federal Protection

Provincial and Territorial Protection

To know if this species is protected by provincial or territorial laws, consult the provinces' and territories' websites.

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Documents

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.

7 record(s) found.

COSEWIC Status Reports

  • COSEWIC Assessment and Status Report on the Four-leaved Milkweed Asclepias quadrifolia in Canada (2010)

    Four-leaved Milkweed (Asclepias quadrifolia) is an erect herbaceous perennial of the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). A single unbranched stem, 30 to 80 cm tall, arises from a tough, perennial root crown. Two pairs of the opposite leaves near the top of mature plants appear four-whorled, giving the species its name. Flowers are in one to four clusters of 10 to 25 pinkish-white flowers. The species is insect-pollinated and probably self-incompatible. The fruit develops into a long, narrow, erect seed pod. Seeds have a dense tuft of long, silky, white hairs at the top to create buoyancy in aid of wind dispersal.

COSEWIC Assessments

  • COSEWIC Assessment Summary and Status Report: Four-leaved Milkweed Asclepias quadrifolia (2010)

    Assessment Summary – April 2010 Common name Four-leaved Milkweed Scientific name Asclepias quadrifolia Status Endangered Reason for designation Only two small extant populations are known in Canada at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, each with very low numbers of individuals. Historic populations within the Niagara Falls region are believed extirpated. Extant populations are in very rare limestone deciduous woodland communities where plants are at risk from shading by invasive Common Buckthorn shrubs and from native shrubs and trees expanding in the absence of ground fires. Residential development is a potential threat at the largest site. Future development on this site remains a reasonable possibility. Occurrence Ontario Status history Designated Endangered in April 2010. Please note that the related COSEWIC Status Report is available below in PDF format. You will be asked to provide your e-mail address then you will receive a link to download the publication. After processing, your email address is not retained in any way and is automatically discarded by our system.

Response Statements

  • Response Statement - Four-leaved Milkweed (2010)

    Only two small extant populations are known in Canada at the eastern end of Lake Ontario, each with very low numbers of individuals. Historic populations within the Niagara Falls region are believed extirpated. Extant populations are in very rare limestone deciduous woodland communities where plants are at risk from shading by invasive Common Buckthorn shrubs and from native shrubs and trees expanding in the absence of ground fires. Residential development is a potential threat at the largest site. Future development on this site remains a reasonable possibility.

Orders

  • Order Acknowledging Receipt of the Assessments Done Pursuant to Subsection 23(1) of the Act (2011)

    His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, hereby acknowledges receipt, on the making of this Order, of assessments conducted under subsection 23(1) of the Species at Risk Act by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada with respect to the species set out in the annexed schedule.
  • Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act (2012)

    The purpose of the Order Amending Schedule 1 to the Species at Risk Act is to add 18 species to Schedule 1, the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (the List), and to reclassify 7 listed species, pursuant to subsection 27(1) of SARA. This amendment is made on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment based on scientific assessments by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and on consultations with governments, Aboriginal peoples, stakeholders and the Canadian public.

COSEWIC Annual Reports

  • COSEWIC Annual Report - 2010 (2010)

    Under Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA), the foremost function of COSEWIC is to “assess the status of each wildlife species considered by COSEWIC to be at risk and, as part of the assessment, identify existing and potential threats to the species”. During the past year, COSEWIC held two Wildlife Species Assessment Meetings and reviewed the status of 79 wildlife species (species, subspecies, populations). During the meeting of November 2009, COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of the status of 28 wildlife species. COSEWIC assessed or reviewed the classification of an additional 51 wildlife species (species, subspecies and populations) during their April 2010 meeting. For species already found on Schedule 1 of SARA, the classification of 32 species was reviewed by COSEWIC and the status of the wildlife species was confirmed to be in the same category (extirpated - no longer found in the wild in Canada but occurring elsewhere, endangered, threatened or of special concern). The wildlife species assessment results for the 2009-2010 reporting period include the following: Extirpated: 6 Endangered: 39 Threatened: 16 Special Concern: 17 Data Deficient: 1 This report transmits to the Minister the status of 46 species newly classified as extirpated, endangered, threatened or of special concern, fulfilling COSEWIC’s obligations under SARA Section 24 and 25. A full detailed summary of the assessment for each species and the reason for the designation can be found in Appendix I of the attached report. Since its inception, COSEWIC has assessed 602 wildlife species in various risk categories, including 262 Endangered, 151 Threatened, 166 Special Concern and 23 Extirpated. In addition, 13 wildlife species have been assessed as Extinct. Also, to date, 46 wildlife species have been identified by COSEWIC as Data Deficient and 166 wildlife species were assessed as Not at Risk. This year has been a particularly productive year for COSEWIC’s Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) Subcommittee. In April 2010 COSEWIC approved the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Process and Protocol Guidelines, providing clear and agreed principles for the gathering of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge to carry out COSEWIC functions as required under Section 15(2) of SARA (See Appendix III of the attached report). We are grateful for the rich and enthusiastic contribution made by community elders and experts in helping the ATK Subcommittee prepare the ATK protocols.

Consultation Documents

  • Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act: Terrestrial Species – November 2010 (2010)

    As part of its strategy for protecting wildlife species at risk, the Government of Canada proclaimed the Species at Risk Act (SARA) on June 5, 2003. Attached to the Act is Schedule 1, the list of the species that receive protection under SARA, also called the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Please submit your comments by February 4, 2011 for species undergoing normal consultations and by February 4, 2012 for species undergoing extended consultations.