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Romanzoffia tracyi


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mist maidens
Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Plantae
Class Dicotyledones
sub Family Hydrophyllaceae (waterleaf)
Genus Romanzoffia
Species tracyi , (Jepson)
COMMON NAME: Tracy's mistmaiden

overall clump
Two pictures joined together show the habitat from a metre distance. Note drill marks on rock for future reference to compare the site for changes.
(North of boathouse)
A patch above the boat house which blooms in April. Generally they grow in clumps.
New Population, 2013
hairs buds
See this update on a new population at Race Rocks
The leathery leaves are covered with fine hairs. The buds show up in this view

Pictures taken April, 2006 by Garry Fletcher


Romanzoffia tracyi is a rare plant (classed on the BLUE list) (1) This land plant with perennial leaves, is often referred to as mist maiden. It grows (to 10cm only) on ocean bluffs on Southern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland south. For several years two small patches grew on the center island. One was at the very top of the highest rock cliff on Great Race Rock and this one by 1988 had disappeared. The other, five meters NW of the boathouse was obliterated by the rock blasted from the helicopter pad in the late 1970's. Since the mid 1990's it has again been observed growing scattered among the large rock rubble close to where it had originally been established above the boathouse. In 2000, a new site has been found just east of the SE corner of the Guardian's house. In a floristics survey done of the island in the spring of 2001 by two students, Julia and Taarini, several clumps of the plant were found in a number of new locations on the island, notably to the South West corner of the keeper's house.

Physical appearance

This plant has perennial leaves which are heavy with a protective wax covering. Romanzoffia tracyi grows to a maximum height of 10 cm. It grows brownish-woolly tubers, has 5 to 8 rounded lobes and petioles 2 to 3 times as long as the leaves. The blosssoms are delicate and white funnel-form in few-flowering spikes (flowers from March to May). The flower stems are short and are called peduncles with hairy clayx lobes.(3)(4)

Potential research question

Romanzoffia tracyi is only located in ocean bluffs where it is possible for the plant to be in contact with salt sprays. Why are thse salt sprays necessary for the location of this plant? A very useful website for those who wish to read up on the correlation between sea sprays and plants can go to: http://www.seaspray.com/plants.html. This site also offers information on differences between vascular plants Romanzoffia tracyi and non vascular plants.


2)Pojar,Jim. Plants of Coatal British Columbia including Washington, Oregon & Alaska, Lone Pine, Canada, 1994, 527 pages.

3)Trelawny, John G.S. Lewis Clark's field guide to Wild flowers of the sea coast in the Pacific Northwest, Gray's Publishing Limited, Sidney, British Columbia, Canada, 1974.

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The Race Rocks Taxonomy

This file is provided as part of a collaborative effort by the students of Lester B. Pearson College Dec. 2001 Genevieve Albert PC yr.27

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Garry Fletcher