Top 5 Endangered plants for home garden

January 15, 2012

Endangered plants

When you talk about endangered species, animals come into your minds instantly. However, it is important to understand that the same sort of plants are also there, which are on the verge of extinction. A lot of effort is being put to save these plant species in order to preserve the rich ecological diversity on the earth. There is much that you can do to prevent the dwindling numbers of these plants. One of those include growing them in your backyard. Here are five endangered plant species, and you can save them by planting those in your backyard, and can help to preserve those.

1: Symphyotrichum Georgianum or Georgia Aster

Georgia Aster

This endangered plant is found in only four states in the US. More than one-third of the approximate 100 species of the Georgia Aster have already turned extinct. The Georgia Aster is scientifically called Symphyotrichum georgianum. This flower is perennial in nature and is a colonial herb that has 1-2 stems. The leaves of the Georgia Aster are thick, scabrous, and are clasped to the scabrous stem. The blooming season for the flowers is early October to mid-November. The fruit of this plant is produced during November-December. These plants are grown on dry habitats having ample sunlight.

2: Rafflesia


This flower, predominantly found in Indonesia, is the largest in the world and does not have a stem, leaves or even roots. On the contrary, it emits a pungent odor instead of sweet fragrance akin to that of rotting flesh. This flower can grow up to a 3 meter diameter and can weigh around 24 pounds. This plant is parasitic in nature and is native to the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo. It is still to be determined how many such plants exist till date. This plant has around 28 species. The appearance of the plant is a five-petaled flower which is seen outside the host vine. This flower is also known as the ‘meat flower’ or the ‘corpse flower’ due to the terrible smell that it exudes which attracts flies that help in pollination. This flower would certainly be the center-of-attraction in your backyard.

3: Wiggin’s Acalypha

Wiggins Acalypha

There are many reasons behind the growing decline of this plant, the main has been construction which has led to a loss of habitat for these plants. These plants are native to a tiny part of the Galapagos Islands, and are mostly found in the subtropical or tropical areas, whereas a few can be found in temperate zones as well. The beautiful flowers of this plant, which are colorful with amazing texture, are its highlights.

4: Platanthera Praclara

Western Prairie Fringed Orchids

This plant is found in only five of the Midwestern states of the US, and is also known as the Western Prairie fringed orchid. According to the Endangered Species Coalition, it is estimated that only 172 populations of this endangered plant exist, out of which only four of them have more than one thousand plants. This plant grows in the wetlands called “prairie potholes”. The major reason for the dwindling numbers of this plant is considered to be fires, overgrazing and global warming. However, the growing threat of habitat loss due to conversion of cropland is also one of the major reasons. In appearance, these orchids have tall stalks and each stalk can grow around 40 white flowers. These beautiful wildflowers depend upon hawkmoths for pollination, and the killing of these moths with insecticides has also put them under threat.

5: Texas Wild Rice

Texas Wild Rice

Zizania Texana or Texas Wild Rice is an endangered plant that has 140 clumps left in the area of San Marcos River. The lowering level of this river due to the dam has threatened it even more. This rare species of grass, found in the upper San Marcos River in Texas, is a federally listed endangered species in the US. This aquatic plant grows in water, up to 1-2 meters in length with ribbon-like leaves. Pollination happens through the wind carrying the pollen to the other plants. However, since the pollen loses its viability within an hour, reproduction is quite inefficient in this plant which adds to the decrease in the numbers of this.

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