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Rare Plants

The Nahanni Aster and Hairy Braya are Northwest Territories plants found nowhere else in the world. The Banks Island Alkali Grass, Raup’s Willow, Drummond Bluebell and Mackenzie Hairgrass have very restricted distributions limited to the Northwest Territories and neighbouring areas. These six species are globally rare.

Hairy Braya is Threatened in the Northwest Territories and Endangered in Canada. Nahanni Aster and Mackenzie Hairgrass are species of Special Concern in Canada. The other species have not yet gone through the processes to assess and list species established by the Species at Risk (NWT) Act or federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), but have been ranked by the NWT General Status Ranking Program.

NWT Plant Species with Global Conservation concern with glacial levels at 15,600 years ago.

Some areas of the Northwest Territories remained glacier free during the last ice age. These ice-free areas acted as refugia that may have allowed species, such as certain rare plant species, to survive in the Northwest Territories during the last ice age. We still have a limited knowledge of these species and areas, and more rare plant surveys are needed.


Banks Island Alkali Grass
Drummond Bluebell
Hairy Braya
Mackenzie Hairgrass
Nahanni Aster
Raup's Willow