Species Profile

Spring Blue-eyed Mary

Scientific Name: Collinsia verna
Other/Previous Names: Blue-eyed Mary
Taxonomy Group: Vascular Plants
Range: Ontario
Last COSEWIC Assessment: May 2000
Last COSEWIC Designation: Extirpated
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Extirpated

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Quick Links: | Photo | Description | Habitat | Biology | Reasons for extirpation | Protection | Recovery Initiatives | National Recovery Program | Documents

Image of Spring Blue-eyed Mary

Spring Blue-eyed Mary Photo 1



The flower of the Spring Blue-eyed Mary is bell-shaped and is composed of five lobes. The two upper lobes of the flower are usually white, while the two lower lobes are usually blue, the fifth lobe being hidden. There are lines of hairs on the stems of this plant; the capsule contains up to four seeds.


Distribution and Population

There are presently no known populations of Spring Blue-eyed Mary in Canada, though the plant was once found in southern Ontario. Throughout its range, populations of Spring Blue-eyed Mary are small and discontinuous.



In Canada, the Spring Blue-eyed Mary was found in open wooded areas located near water. This plant prefers moist rich alluvial soils.



Spring Blue-eyed Marys flower in April or May. The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees. Seeds are dispersed, by the wind, in June. The plants quickly decompose after the seeds are dispersed. The seeds of the Spring Blue-eyed Mary germinate in the fall. The shoots overwinter and regrow in the spring.


Reasons for extirpation

In Canada, the habitats of the Spring Blue-eyed Mary were destroyed through forest clearing and agricultural development.



Federal Protection

The Spring Blue-eyed Mary is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.

Provincial and Territorial Protection

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


Recovery Initiatives

Status of Recovery Planning

Recovery Strategies :

Name Recovery Strategy for the Spring Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry


Recovery Progress and Activities

Summary of Progress to Date There have been three known occurrences of the Spring Blue-eyed Mary in south-western Ontario. The species was last reported in 1954. Recovery of the Spring Blue-eyed Mary is considered feasible, but its recovery will be contingent on additional studies. The recovery goal is to determine the feasibility of reintroducing the Spring Blue-eyed Mary to Canada. An action plan will be developed for the Spring Blue-eyed Mary by 2015, if reintroduction is deemed feasible. Summary of Research/Monitoring Techniques necessary for cultivation and reintroduction of Spring Blue-eyed Mary are being studied in the United States. More research is needed to determine if these techniques would be effective for the recovery of the species in Canada. Summary of Recovery Activities There is insufficient information about the species and the availability of its habitat for reintroduction to be deemed appropriate. Once these knowledge gaps are filled, the recovery goals for the species will be reviewed. URLs Ontario Biodiversity: Species at Risk:http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&lang=&id=52


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.

1 record(s) found.

Recovery Strategies

  • Recovery Strategy for the Spring Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna) in Canada (2010)

    The Spring Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia verna) is under the management jurisdiction of the Province of Ontario and Environment Canada. The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed extirpated, endangered, or threatened species. The Spring Blue-eyed Mary was listed as Extirpated under SARA in June 2003. The Canadian Wildlife Service – Ontario Region, Environment Canada, led the development of this recovery strategy. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources cooperated in the document's development. All responsible jurisdictions reviewed and acknowledged receipt of the strategy.