Species At Risk

Branched Bartonia

(Bartonia paniculata ssp. paniculata)
Branched Bartonia
Branched Bartonia occurrences map


Branched Bartonia is a spindly flowering plant that grows 10 to 40 centimetres tall. The stem is green or purple and often angled. The leaves are alternate (each leaf arising from a different point along the stem), tiny, scale-like and easily overlooked. It produces small creamy-white four-parted flowers that form a branched cluster.


Branched Bartonia is found in the United States from New England south to Florida and Texas, and west to Wisconsin. In Canada, this plant has been found only at ten sites in south-central Ontario, in Muskoka and Parry Sound districts.


Branched Bartonia grows in sphagnum bog or fen wetlands dominated by sedges or low shrubs. It is usually found in areas with Tamarack and Black Spruce trees.


The main threats to Branched Bartonia are habitat destruction by all-terrain vehicles and alteration of water levels. Two of the sites where this plant is found are also threatened by an invasive shrub called Glossy Buckthorn.


Branched Bartonia is protected under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act and the federal Species at Risk Act. One population is in a provincial park and another is in a conservation reserve, where they also receive protection.

For more information on legislation that helps protect Ontario's species at risk visit ontario.ca/speciesatrisk.

What You Can Do to Help the Branched Bartonia

  • The Ministry of Natural Resources tracks species at risk such as the Branched Bartonia. You can use a handy online form to report your sightings to the Natural Heritage Information Centre. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful. nhic.mnr.gov.on.ca
  • Report any illegal activity related to plants and wildlife to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).
  • Private land owners have a very important role to play in species recovery. If you find Branched Bartonia on your property, you may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats. For more information, visit: ontario.ca/speciesatrisk.
  • Volunteer with your local nature club or provincial park to participate in surveys or stewardship work focused on species at risk.
  • Invasive species seriously threaten many of Ontario’s species at risk. To learn what you can do to help reduce the threat of invasive species, visit: ontario.ca/invasivespecies ; www.invadingspecies.com ; www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca ; and, www.invasivespecies.gc.ca .
  • Consult the Ministry of Natural Resources for information on provincial regulations and best management practices when working around wetlands and in forests. Call toll free 1-800-667-1940 or visit the Ministry website at www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/ContactUs/2ColumnSubPage/STEL02_179002.html.

Did you know?

This plant’s tiny fruits are only about four millimetres long, but each fruit contains 1,000 to 1,500 seeds.

Did you know?

Branched Bartonia was not discovered in Ontario until 1973.

Did you know?

The Ontario population of this plant interests researchers because it is located more than 600 kilometres north of the rest of the plant’s normal range in the eastern United States. Disjunct populations have also been found in Michigan and Wisconsin,

Did you know?

Photosynthesis (the process of creating its own sugar using light, water and carbon dioxide) may be inefficient in this plant due to its small leaves. It is possible that like orchids, this plant may obtain some nutrients with the help of fungus in the soil.