Garden flowers, plants and shrubs

Extinct plant species


The disappearance of many species of flora often depends on the person and his destructive, as it turns out, activity. Thousands of rare plant species will never see humanity. The Red Book is a list of plants and animals, either extinct or on the verge of it. But even despite the existing accounting, it is impossible to know exactly how many copies of these or those plants remain in the world.

Extinct species

Extinct plant species receive this status and their place in the "black list" after the last instance officially documented disappears. Many extinct species are known only by their “remains” - imprints on stones, evidence in official documents.

One of the most ancient extinct plants is archefructus. His remains were discovered in 1998 in the Lower Cretaceous sediments in China.

A whole genus of these plants died out, but water lilies are considered their probable descendant or closest relative. Arkhofruktus also grew in reservoirs, but was not fully formed (for example, there were no petals). Scientists believe that this ancient plant is the progenitor of all flowers in modern history.

Extinct plant species usually belong to the early epochs of nature. It is worth mentioning Archeopteris - an ancient fern, which grew back in the Paleozoic era. It is considered the oldest tree. Also interesting in its structure is a tree-like plant lepidodendron, which existed in the Carboniferous period. Its leaves grew directly from the trunk, not having petioles, therefore, after leaf fall, the trunk remained scarred, which made the bark similar to crocodile skin.

Unfortunately, the ancient extinct plants are not alone in their fate. Even in the 20th century, it became possible for representatives of the flora to disappear from the face of the earth. So, for example, the Kri violet, which grew on limestone soils in southeastern France, was irretrievably lost. The unexpected destruction of limestone led to her death.

According to the data for 2011, 799 species have completely disappeared (including fauna), 61 species have ceased to exist in the wild and a huge number are on the verge of extinction. Every year, these figures, unfortunately, only grow.

Vanished in the wild

EW - this status is given to plants that have survived only in captivity. They usually grow in botanical gardens or reserves, where their population is carefully monitored.

For example, Encephalart Wood, which grew on the forest slopes of South Africa, was removed from the wild and placed in botanical gardens in different parts of the world. Due to adverse conditions, this plant could disappear forever. And all because it is a type of male plants, that is, it does not reproduce in the usual way, but is spread by dividing a single specimen.

Endangered plants are sometimes considered completely extinct from the world, but a miracle happens and someone finds the last instance. This happened to the Gibraltar Smolensk, which for many years was considered lost to nature. But in 1994, one climber accidentally stumbled upon this flower high in the mountains. Today, this plant lives in the Botanical Garden of Gibraltar and the Royal Garden of London.

Due to the extinction of their only pollinators - nectar birds - a beautiful flower, called the "Parrot Beak", has disappeared. Its inflorescences really resemble a bird's beak, although they have a red-orange color. Canary Islands are the birthplace of the flower.

Another interesting flower now growing in captivity is the chocolate cosmos. Such an unusual name was the Mexican flower, which has the smell of vanilla.

The cause of the disappearance of many plants is human activity, but also the natural elements make their sad contribution. So, after the fires in 1978, the Kokio flower, which grew only on the trunks of a certain type of tree, disappeared from the wild nature in Hawaii.

Endangered Species

CR - this category is critical for all endangered species. Perhaps those plants that are in this category have long died, but scientists do not have time to conduct enough research to verify this. In 2011, under the sign of CR were 1619 plant species.

Russia’s endangered plants also fall into this category. Such plants as ginseng, spring adonis, yellow water lily, are on the verge of extinction in our country because of their medicinal properties. Many people, not suspecting that these are plants from the Red Book, tear them down, thereby ruining the entire population.

One of the rarest plants in the world is the Edelweiss mountain flower. It can be found in the Alps, in the Altai and the Caucasus, but for this you need to climb to a height of several thousand meters. A flower surrounded by legends, having inflorescences in the shape of stars, loves solitude, although it is the patron saint of lovers.

Plants from the Red Book is forbidden to tear. For example, in Switzerland, for such a misconduct will have to pay an impressive fine.

Endangered species

EN is a status that is obtained by species that are at risk of extinction due to their small number or unfavorable conditions of the surrounding world and habitat.

Since the first man appeared on the planet, the extinction of animal and plant species began to pick up fast. It was associated with agriculture and hunting.

Which plants are dying and which are not, it is difficult to determine. This is because some of the habitats of the species are simply unknown, it is not possible to establish their exact number.

The Red Book of Russia has 652 plant species that are considered endangered. Among them are the half-bow, flat-leaf snowdrop, rhododendron fori, walnut-bearing lotus, mountain peony and many others.

Endangered plants in Russia are protected, however, administratively. But in the event of the complete extermination of any plant species from the Red Book, criminal liability will follow.

Vulnerable species

VU is the protection status of plant species that are at risk of becoming endangered. But there are plants that breed well in captivity and, in fact, are not under threat. However, scientists tend to leave this status to them, because there is a chance of reducing the population in the wild. For example, the predatory plant Venus flytrap, which feeds on insects and sometimes clams, has VU status.

This category of plants has more than five thousand plants, including mosses. For example, Russian cornflower, Scythian gorse, bear nut, Gesner tulip, berry yew, etc.

Species dependent on conservation efforts

Since 1994, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has not introduced new plant species in this category. A CD is a subcategory that is subdivided into three branches:

  • dependent on conservation,
  • close to the vulnerable position
  • small threat.

The International Red Book contains 252 species belonging to this subcategory. For example, cunonia round-leaved, several species of Eleocarpus, Mexican viburnum, etc.

Endangered plants in this category almost never return, because to restore the population of endangered plants is almost impossible.

Close to vulnerable position

NT status is assigned to animals and plants that may fall into the vulnerability group in the near future, but at the moment are not subject to any threat. The main criteria for falling into this category are population reduction and distribution in the world.

In 2011, more than 1,200 plants had this status.

Vanished plants

Extinct plant species are divided into two groups:

  • those who disappeared during the revolution
  • those whose disappearance was affected by man.

Because of the people, many plants have disappeared, various sources of scientific research indicate this. Nature is gradually getting poorer, as industrial waste is released into the atmosphere. Many of the mountain slopes deprived lush forests of humanity.

There are rare and endangered plant species that still continue to fight for life. Vivid examples are:

  • yellow water lily,
  • dolomite bell,
  • Kladofora spherical,
  • lily Saranka and others.

The activities of people influenced nature is not the best way. At the moment, you can list such extinct plant species:

  • Barguzin wormwood,
  • whose brilliant
  • Norwegian Astragalus
  • plantain Krasheninnikov,
  • Lapchatka Volga,
  • creeping creeping
  • heather ordinary and other plants.


Extinct plant species are counted every year. Statistics show that annually 1% of tropical rainforests disappear, about 70 species of animals and plants are dying out. 10% of the biological diversity in the shallow water, namely coral reefs, has disappeared. It is estimated that another 30% will disappear in the next ten years. There are such changes due to the fact that the climate has changed a lot, the waters are polluted, they catch a large number of reef fish.

Plant protection

Endangered plant species in Russia are under strict protection. These include:

  • Amur velvet,
  • boxwood
  • yew ordinary
  • pizza trees,
  • lotus and other types of shrubs, trees, herbs that are in the Red Book.

If you do not create the proper protection of these plants, then in the future this will lead to complete destabilization. Indeed, in the ecosystem there is a food chain.

It was noted that as a result of the disappearance of a certain species, the number and other inhabitants of nature also change. Each plant carries a specific DNA molecule. If it disappears, the genetic material will also disappear irreversibly with it. For example, only a one-year wormwood is able to cure malaria, as it contains artemisinin in a composition that was not observed in any other plant.

Reasons for concern

Disappearing species of animals and plants should be known to everyone. There are certain reasons for this:

  1. Biological entities disappear, which reduces the richness of nature.
  2. Destabilization of ecosystems. In nature, everything is interconnected, so the extinction of one species destroys the whole chain.
  3. Other species are at risk of extinction. After the disappearance of a certain species, other plants and animals can reduce their numbers. From this changing ecosystem.
  4. Lost unique genetic material.

List of some endangered species

There are such endangered species of plants of the Red Book, which need protection:

  1. Lily Kinky. This is a graceful plant that is able to please with itself for several years in a row. Flowers appear in the summer. They are pink with purple stamens. The leaves are very original, speckled.
  2. Strody is high. The plant belongs to the orchid species. It is in danger, as it may soon be added to the list of “Extinct Plant Species”. Photos can be viewed in different sources, each of them shows a tall, grassy perennial up to 1 meter long. The plant has no leaves, but pleases with flowers collected in a brush. In the autumn it gives fruit with seeds.
  3. Japanese bearded coat. The plant is able to grow by 20-40 cm in height.
  4. Lunik is coming to life.
  5. Thyphoid nymphoid flower. It belongs to the rotational family. The plant has oval leaves, floating in the swamp.
  6. Pygmy Euonymus. It is a beautiful shrub that constantly pleases with its green leaves.
  7. Vasilek Taliyev. It has amazing pinnatie leaves that adorn baskets of cream colored inflorescences.
  8. Ginseng. It is considered a true miracle of nature.
  9. May lily of the valley. The flower, which is loved by many, is on the verge of extinction.
  10. Astrantia is big. The plant lives for several years. It is very high, grows up to 70 cm.
  11. Fine-leaved peony. Belongs to the family Peony, pleases the eye with its flowers shade of raspberry.
  12. Helm-bearing orchid.
  13. White water lily. It is a very beautiful plant.

Red Book

All endangered plant species of the Red Book were grouped into sections and categories depending on their status and degree of protection. There are five of them:

  1. The first category included the species that are subject to extinction. If people do not apply protection measures, then it will be impossible to save them. These include: big horsetail, royal fern, white fir, primrose high, boron willow, lady's slipper.
  2. The second category. Here are recorded plants that have a high population, but it is rapidly decreasing. From this can disappear a number of plants. These include: baranets ordinary, bear onions, lake hemisphere, European swimsuit, white water lily.
  3. The third category attributed those plant species that grow in limited areas. They have a small amount. They are not threatened with extinction. This list includes: water fern, rhododendron yellow, small bean, Siberian lashes, forest anemone, ivy, water chestnut, dwarf birch.
  4. Fourth category. It describes plants that are poorly understood, but their numbers are small. These are: lily, stunted violet, common hogweed.
  5. The fifth category includes species that have undergone restoration. Special security measures contributed to this. But among plants there are very few such species.

Some species requiring special attention

There are some rare plants that require human attention and protection. One of these is Arizona agave, the number of plants is rapidly decreasing. Some species grow in the Arizona National Forest.

It should be noted that Enrubio bush is close to extinction. This is due to the fact that it is eaten by many animals. But the number of these plants is not as deplorable as the western steppe orchid. She is on the verge of extinction. Now it grows only in 5 states of the USA, mainly in wetland conditions. Due to global warming, grazing of animals the plant gradually disappears from the face of the earth.

Disappearing species of animals and plants are replenished with new ones every year. If a person does not take measures, it will lead to destabilization in the ecosystem. As a result of the extinction of some species, others will die, since in nature there is a chain of life, everything is interconnected.

In the future, the extinction of species can lead to a big catastrophe all over the world. Therefore, it is required to create proper protection for all plants and animals, but to pay special attention to rare species. After all, their existence depends on humanity. Every person should think about it and take care of nature!

10. Arizona Agave

At the time of 1984, there were approximately 100 copies of this plant. But Arizona Agave was able to overcome the decline in its population. Although only two species are still preserved, both are located in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona. This rare plant grows in the mountains of New River and Sierra Uncas. And opens the top -10 the rarest plants.

8. Ouachita Mountain Goldenrod

It is assumed that the remains from the last ice age remain unknown. The endangered plant speciesgrows in three counties along the borders of Arkansas and Oklahoma. This plant prefers a cool, humid climate, like on the ridges of Oushito mountains.

7. (Stenogyne Kanehoana)

There was evidence that this member of the mint family disappeared in 2000, until a specimen was found that confirms the existence of this species. This plant is distributed only in the mountains of Wajina on Oahu. Leaves of Stenogin Kanehoana rather dense, with a down. In 2001, Lyon proved that these plants can be grown in captivity.

6. Howell’s Spectacular Thelypody

The Zelapodium Hovelli (Thelypodium howellii) is represented by only five populations, all of these rare plants grow in northeastern Oregon. At the time of 1999, these plants numbered about 30 thousand, but their number falls annually due to mowing grass in their habitat zone.

5. (Texas Wild Rice) Texas Wild Rice

Tehana zizania (Zizania texana) is a plant species with a rather bleak future. They grow only in the fresh water of the San Marcos River. According to the Center for Plant Conservation, this type of rice is at risk because of the lower water levels caused by the Spring Lake dam.

Akalifa viginsi (Acalypha wigginsii) is the indigenous "inhabitant" of a tiny part of the Galapagos Islands. The main reasons for reducing the population of these plants are construction work and habitat loss. According to the Galapagos Conservation Trust (British Charitable Foundation), this species is critically close to extinction.

3. Georgia Aster

Vanishing plant Symphyotrichum dahlia (Symphyotrichum georgianum) grows in the southeastern United States. According to the nature conservation organization Nature Serve, this species of plants grew in small bunches, but now there are about 60 populations due to their natural habitat.

2. Rafflesia

Rafflesia Arnoldi is considered the largest flower on the planet. The flower has no structural stalk, leaves or roots. But he has the pungent smell of decaying flesh, hence his nickname - the corpse-flower. Размеры его впечатляющие: в диаметре 3 фута, вес до 11 килограмм. Раффлезия это цветок-паразит, который растет в лозе Тетрастигма в лесах Борнео и Суматра.

1. Западная степная орхидея

Этот вид из семейства любка произрастает только в пяти штатах США на Среднем Западе, и является самым редким растением мира. The Coalition of Endangered Species believes that there are only 172 species of the population of these plants, and four groups of these orchids number 1,000 each. This wetland plant grows in prairie potholes, indentations left by glaciers of the last ice age 20,000 years ago. The main threats to this plant are overgrazing, fires and global warming.

Causes of plant extinction

The disappearance of the flora occurs due to the economic activities of people:

  • deforestation,
  • cattle grazing
  • draining marshes
  • plowing steppes and meadows,
  • collection of herbs and flowers for sale.

Not least important are forest fires, flooding of coastal areas, environmental pollution, and environmental disasters. As a result of natural disasters, plants die in large quantities overnight, leading to global ecosystem changes.

Reasons to make plants disappear

  1. The main causes of the disappearance of plants or animals are climatic fluctuations and geological transformation of the earth's crust and species interactions. This cause of extinction is directly dependent on the increasing activity of a person and his intervention.
  2. Another important reason is overpopulation of people on Earth.
  3. Excessive exploitation of nature by man.
  4. Destruction of plant habitats.
  5. Environmental pollution.
  6. Introduction of alien species into the existing environment.

The extinction began about 100 million years ago and is a natural process due to the geological transformation of the Earth. If you believe the study of minerals, it is believed that only 2–4 percent of the species that ever existed survive.

Nearly 16,928 plant and animal species are threatened with extinction. The most important cause of extinction is habitat degradation. For this reason, 91% of plants are threatened with extinction.

Thanks to human activities on the planet, over the past 500 years, about 869 species of plants and animals have disappeared.

What plants are already extinct

  • Acacia kingiana (Acacia Tsarian) was a species of acacia that grew in the region northeast of Wagin in the Avon Whitbelt region of southwest Western Australia. This extinct plant was a shrub 2-3 meters tall with yellow flowers. Acacia was declared extinct in accordance with the Australian Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Western Australia Wildlife Conservation Act 1950. The causes of extinction are unknown.
  • Acianthus ledwardii is a species of terrestrial orchid growing in southeast Queensland, Australia. This is an annual plant, with roots consisting almost exclusively of pairs of small ovoid tubers, with short stems and one basal leaf, located horizontally. The causes of extinction are unknown.
  • Amphibromus whitei (white amphibian) was a perennial herb that grew in bunches, and had a height of 30-35 cm. It had long, narrow leaves all over the stem. The base of the leaves was densely hairy with golden hairs turned down. The causes of extinction are unknown.
  • Deyeuxia lawrencei. Straight naked perennial grass, which is considered extinct. This species is endemic to Tasmania and is known only for the sample collected around 1831 in an unknown place. The causes of extinction are not clear.
  • Euphrasia ruptura is a supposedly extinct plant from the genus Euphrasia. It is named after the Australian botanist Hermann Montague Rucker Rupp, who discovered this species. This plant is known only from two flowering branches, collected in September 1904 on the north-western slopes near Tamworth, New South Wales. This perennial reached a height of at least 26 centimeters. The branches were covered with hairs, the length of the cup reached from 3.8 to 4.5 mm. Color unknown. The causes of extinction are unclear.
  • Musa fitzalanii (river banana) is a species of wild banana that was born in northeast Queensland, Australia, but is now considered extinct. Typical sample was collected in the XIX century. The banana had a height of about six meters. The stem was green, the juice was colorless, the leaves were 30–35 cm long, about 60 cm wide, and were almost at a right angle to the stem. Flower heads hung loose, and only male flowers with purple tips were visible. The petals were oval in shape, 1.5-2.2 cm long and 5-8 mm wide. Fruits located in lowered bundles were triangular and yellow when ripe, their length was 5-6 cm and they were full of seeds. Seeds were 4.5–6.5 mm in diameter. The causes of extinction are also not established.
  • The Sigillaria tree was a spore-shaped, tree-like plant that existed at the end of the Carboniferous period. The sigilaria reached 30 meters in height, sometimes forked and had a dispute of cone-shaped structures that hung from its stems. The tree trunk grew spiral. The life of a tree was relatively short - it quickly matured in just a few years, while many large trees today grow for decades and sometimes centuries before reaching their maximum size. The tree disappeared quite a long time, about 0.3 billion years ago.
  • Lepidodendron. He was nicknamed "the tree of weights" because of the petrified remains, strangely similar to the scales of a reptile. The tree reached a height of more than 30 meters, and the trunk, could exceed 1 meter in diameter. Lepidodendron multiplied not by seed, but by spores. The tree lived 10-15 years. The trunk consisted mainly of green soft tissue. Scientists compare this tree with a giant grass. Lepidodendral forests were dense, up to 2 thousand trees per hectare. Like sigilaria, this tree is extinct.

Vanishing plants

Here are some plants that are on the edge of extinction..

  • Caladenia pumila (dwarf orchid). Dwarf orchid has a short stature and is easily distinguished from other similar orchid spiders. Spider pinkish-white flower looks quite large due to the short stem. The leaves are relatively large, hairy. The stem also has hairs. A number of work was done to protect the orchid, including manual pollination to stimulate seed production and seed collection. Trampling and tearing are threats to the plant.
  • Rafflesia arnoldii considered the largest flower on the planet. The flower itself has no structural stem, leaves, or roots. It exudes the pungent smell of decaying flesh. Rafflesia parasitizes, attaching to the tetrastigma vine.
  • Baobab. His homeland is equatorial Africa and India. This tree is leafless for nine months a year and stores water like a camel. People make houses in its trunk, and the tree also produces edible fruits.
  • Green jade flower. A rare and beautiful flower is distinguished by its blue-green petals and dark purple center. With its unusual look, the plant attracts people who tear it down. Disappearance threatens to flower because of the variation of farm and factory chemicals, which leads to unsustainable growth and abundant deforestation. Because of this, the number of flowers has decreased dramatically.
  • Tacca chantrieri. The black flower is extremely rare and very beautiful. Each flower usually has many “whiskers”. Like any beautiful flower, it becomes a victim of tearing.

As we see, many plant species have already become extinct due to human intervention in a balanced environment, or even without its help. For the same reasons, many of them are on the verge of extinction. However, the last is still not late to save, and the least we can do is not to stomp and tear flowers, not to cut down trees unnecessarily, and also to plant at least one tree in your life.