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Rare Plant Rescue

Rare Plant Rescue (RPR) is a voluntary stewardship program for landholders with rare plants or rare plant habitat.

Launched in 2002, RPR aims to conserve rare plant habitat by building strong, respectful relationships with landholders and providing them with the information they need to make informed stewardship decisions. It is modeled after Nature Saskatchewan's successful Operation Burrowing Owl program.

Rural landholders with habitat supporting endangered and threatened plant species are informed of this natural heritage and invited to sign a voluntary stewardship agreement. RPR staff conduct rare plant surveys on participants’ land, and return periodically to monitor the status of any plant species at risk occurrences that are found.

As of 2023, 92 landholders and managers participate in RPR, and together are conserving 267,249 acres (108,154 ha) of valuable rare plant habitat while they continue to use their land as they always have.



What are our rarest plants?

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Rare Plant Rescue is focusing on the following nine species protected both provincially and federally as threatened, endangered or extirpated (no longer found in Saskatchewan, but still present in other places.)

  • Small White Lady's-slipper (Extirpated) (Cypripedium candidum)
  • Tiny Cryptantha (Threatened) (Cryptantha minima)
  • Hairy Prairie-clover (Special Concern) (Dalea villosa var. villosa)
  • Western Spiderwort (Threatened) (Tradescantia occidentalis var. occidentalis)
  • Small-flowered Sand-verbena (Endangered) (Tripterocalyx micranthus)
  • Slender Mouse-ear-cress (Threatened) (Crucihimilaya virgata formerly Transberingia bursifolia ssp. virgata)
  • Buffalograss (Special Concern) (Bouteloua dactyloides)
  • Smooth Goosefoot (Threatened) (Chenopodium subglabrum)
  • Dwarf Woollyheads (Special Concern) (Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus)


Rare Plant Rescue also tracks the following seven provincially rare plants species as well as other rare plants (as determined by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre):

  • Bur Ragweed (Ambrosia acanthicarpa)

    Photo credit: M. Ranalli

  • Prickly Milk Vetch (Astragalus kentrophyta var. kentrophyta)
  • Powell's Saltbush (Atriplex powellii var. powellii)
  • Plains Grape Fern (Botrychium campestre)
  • Upland Evening Primrose (Neoholmgrenia andina)
  • Small Lupine (Lupinus pusillus ssp. pusillus)
  • Beaked Annual Skeletonweed (Shinnersoseris rostrata)


For further information please check out A Pocket Guide to the Rare Plants of Southern Saskatchewan





Rare plants and ranchers

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Are you a Saskatchewan rancher with rare plants on your land? Are you interested in having a Beneficial Management Plan done up for your farm by a professional agrologist, and access to dollar-for-dollar funding to implement management actions (e.g. invasive species control) that are beneficial for your ranching operation and the rare plants on your land? And the best part… is completely FREE!!!

If so, check out Rare Plants and Ranchers, our joint program with the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan!

For more resources, including the Pocket Guide to the Rare Plants of Southern Saskatchewan, click here to visit our resources page.

For more information on the benefits of stewardship, please visit our Stewards of Saskatchewan Page.


Photo credit: A. Block



More information and resources

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For more information please see the RPR Brochure.

To contact the Rare Plant Rescue Coordinator, please call (306) 780-9417, 1-800-667-4668 or email at

For more resources on Saskatchewan's Rare Plants please visit our resources page

For more information on the benefits of stewardship, please visit our Stewards of Saskatchewan page