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The Okanagan and Similkameen valleys are home to one of the most unique, endangered and biodiverse ecosystems in Canada. Biodiversity is the variety of life and loss of biodiversity can have lasting effects including fewer new medicines, greater vulnerability to natural disasters and greater effects from climate change. Rare plants have become threatened or endangered in most cases due to urban development and agricultural land use.


  • Learn how to identify rare plants in your communities and report them to

  • Keep areas free from competing invasive plants

  • Avoid use of motorized vehicles in ecologically sensitive areas

  • Exclude livestock from sensitive areas and limit their access to riparian areas with a nose-in where possible

  • Become a steward of your rare and unique habitats! Find out how here

Calochortus_lyallii- Bill Bouton credit.

Lyall’s Mariposa Lily


White to purplish-tinged petals with fringed margin


Found in high elevation sagebrush grasslands west of Osoyoos in BC

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Showy Phlox


Long, narrow leaves and white to pinkish flowers with five petals.


Distinguishable from the more common Long-leaved phlox by the deep notches in its petals and is covered in fine hairs

Found in very hot, dry sagebrush and open pine forests south of Summerland.


Grand Coulee Owl-clover


Narrow, alternating leaves; multiple stalks from a singular base with a yellow terminal flower-head


Found in extremely dry, open sagebrush communities in Osoyoos

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Short-rayed Alkali Aster


Leaves are outlined with fine hairs; flowers are pink, purple or white


Found on a few sandy shorelines of lakes in the Okanagan Valley


Beach management and tidying is a threat to this species.


Branched Phacelia


Lobed leaves with purple, white or pink petals from a terminal cluster


Found in dry, rocky slopes near Mount Kruger in Osoyoos


Stoloniferous Pussytoes


Low-lying plant with woolly leaves and brownish flowers. Distinctive long stolons branch out from the plant and re-root up to 10cm away.

Found in sandy, eroded slopes south-west of Princeton

Photo by Nolan Exe via (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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Slender Collomia


Up to 15cm freely branched stem with alternate, elongated leaves and pinkish to white flowers growing singly or in pairs


Found on eroded, steep, southeast-facing slopes in south-west Princeton

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Dwarf Woolly-heads


Hairy flower heads located in the forks of branches with short, opposite leaves


Found in wet, clay soils along shorelines of south-west Princeton



Upright plant growing from 5-15 cm with oblong leaves and groups of pinkish to white flowers in leaf axis


Found in sparsely vegetated, fine-textured soils on flats alongside temporary spring ponds

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Scarlet Ammannia


Oval, opposite leaves with 3 or 5 pink to purple flower heads located above the leaves


Only known to exist on the shorelines of Osoyoos Lake

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Rusty Cord Moss


Small, light to medium green moss, measuring up to 3mm tall.

Grows on a small strip of shorelines of seasonally wet, alkaline wetlands throughout the southern Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, and northeast of Kamloops

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Nugget Moss


Small moss, less than 2mm tall; leaves are light green, to golden-green


Extremely rare, and found only at one site in Penticton and one in Kamloops at undisturbed sites in clay-rich soil


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