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U.S. Forest Service

Rare Plants

Four pictures of rare plants: Townsendia aprica, Fritillaria gentneri, Iris lacustris, and Echinocereus fendleri var. kuenzleri framing the text Rare Plants.

“Caring for the land and serving people”, the mission of the U.S. Forest Service, means caring for rare plants and their habitats, and helping people learn about these special plants on our national forests and grasslands.

Eriogonum vineum.

What is a rare plant?

Defining why a plant is considered rare.

Echinacea laevigata.

Why are some plants rare?

The factors that lead to a plant becoming rare.

Cypripedium montanum.

Are all rare plants endangered?

Not all plants are endangered, the Endangered Species Act.

Bar graph image.

How many rare plants are there?

Determining the number of rare plants.

A woman recording data in a notebook regarding plant seedlings.

How are rare plants conserved?

Efforts to conserve, protect, and manage these rare jewels of our natural heritage.

Three women stanging behind plants in pots in a greenhouse.

How can I help rare plants?

Learn, practice good stewardship, be an advocate, and become a citizen scientist.

Botrychium furcatum.

Success Stories

Read about the many successes in restoring and recovering rare plants on our national forests and grasslands.

Rare Plants text and two flower images.

Rare Plant Profiles

Species descriptions of rare plants found on the national forests and grasslands.

Sorting and counting seeds on a notebook.


More information about rare plants.