Engelmann’s Quillwort

Mixed population of spiny-spored (Isoetes echinospora), Eaton’s (I.xeatonii) and Engelmann’s quillwort (I .engelmannii) at Big Chute Muskoka.

Isoetes engelmannii

Status:

  • COSEWIC – Endangered.
  • COSSARO – Endangered.

Please note: There are only two known populations, one on the lower Severn and the other on the Gull River. The total number of plants known in Canada is likely under 2,000.

Description:

  • An aquatic plant, it has a cluster of weak and stringy leaves that rise from two corms.
  • Leaves usually measure 20 to 40 cm, but can extend to 90 cm.
  • Leaves often float on water or sprawl across mud flats; the corms are not usually visible, but buried in the soil.
  • Colour of the leaves varies from bright green to brownish-green.

Habitat:

  • Corm is anchored in sand and clay soil in shallow water along the shoreline.

Reproduction:

  • Reproduces through spores, which mature in late summer.
  • Mixing of megaspores (female) from one plant with microspores (male) from another start new plants.
  • Spores are usually dispersed by water currents, so tend to be close to the parent plants.

Threats:

  • Changes in water levels and quality.
  • Increase in water based recreational activities.
  • Toxic spills and seepage from private and public facilities are also potential threats.
  • Competition from other aquatic vegetation.
  • Abundance of Zebra Mussels.

Engelmann’s Quillwort

Conservation Actions:

For more information in the Parry Sound area, contact:

Biologist
Bracebridge OMNR
R.R.#2
1350 High Falls Road
Bracebridge , ON
P1L 1W9
705-645-8747