When we think of endangered species, we commonly picture the massive numbers of African elephants that are slaughtered each year for their tusks; the stately tiger that is hunted for its skin, claws, or teeth; or the seriously threatened black rhino that is slain for its horns.
Rarely do plants appear on the list. As a result, many species of plants are rapidly becoming extinct, mostly without much public awareness.
The Main Causes of Plant Extinction
The extinction of plants is caused by a variety of circumstances. The following are some of the key explanations:
- One of the main factors contributing to the extinction of plants is pests. A plant can be harmed or destroyed by insects, rodents, as well as other animals, making it more vulnerable to disease.
- Additionally, plant diseases can also harm a plant, leaving it open to attack by pests and other dangers. Many diseases can easily spread from species to species in a garden or field by exposure to other plants.
- Plants often struggle to recuperate from various threats, which increases the likelihood that they will go extinct. They can die as a result of poor soil quality and other environmental issues such as climate change.
- Humans are also to blame for many incidents of plant extinction. The destruction or damage of habitats by deforestation, industrialization, and other human activities can make it very difficult for plants to survive. In addition to this, humans occasionally also spread new pathogens and pests into a place, which can also inflict damage to the local plant species.
The development of agriculture and urbanization, together with the persistent use of pesticides, all contribute to the degradation of habitats.
Endangered Species of Plants
There are numerous plant species that are in danger of extinction. Regardless of the location in which they are found, they all share a common denominator that is assumed to have led to their inclusion on the endangered species list.
1. Prickly Cica
These South African cycads, also called Encephalartos altensteinii, are extremely slow-growing and critically endangered.
They can reach heights of five to seven meters.
Due to their wind resistance, they are commonly used as decorative plants in spacious gardens and parks, particularly those along the sea.
Despite having a 300-year lifespan, it is starting to disappear in its native country as a result of the absence of its natural growing habitats. Additionally, this plant species is discretely harvested for therapeutic uses.
2. Phalaenopsis micholitzii
Phalaenopsis micholitzii, a member of the Orchidaceae family, best known as orchids, is one of the tundra’s endangered plants that we shall discuss in this list.
The Philippines is the native home of this species in the plant kingdom.
This orchid is typically spotted in the humid forests of tropical regions, but due to overcollection and habitat degradation that it has recently been exposed to, its stunning shape and natural attractiveness make it a threatened species.
3. Attraylis preauxiana
This shrub is one of the many plant species on the Canary Islands that are in danger of going extinct.
Even though it only grows to a height of 30 cm, its distinctive leaves can be recognized by their extremely noticeable whitish ligules, which allow for easy identification.
It is found throughout Gran Canaria and Tenerife, and due to a number of factors, this species is now listed in the Red Book of the Threatened Vascular Flora of Spain.
4. Acacia anegadensis
This species of acacia that is presently in great danger can be found in the British Virgin Islands. In addition to having little thorny blossoms, this type of small tree is also known for its vivid yellow shade and its small, seed-containing pods.
The implications of the sea level rise in its environment, which has been altered as a result of climate change, have caused this species of tree, which is a part of the island’s flora, to be regarded as being one of the most endangered tree species.
5. Drosera anglica
The carnivorous plant known as lengthy sundew (Drosera Anglica) was created through successful hybridization.
It thrives in temperate locations, from southern Japan to Hawaii, and is tiny, measuring no more than 10 cm.
Its existence in ponds, marshes, and bogs is extremely vulnerable, and any change to the peat bog ecosystem results in its disappearance.
6. Amorphophallus titanum
When you see the striking body of the next endangered species you will encounter, you might find yourself speechless.
Amorphophallus titanum is sometimes referred to as the corpse flower, the huge ring, or Bunga Bangkai. It attracts attention due to both its size and its unusual structure.
This plant, which is regarded as having the largest flower in the world, is at risk of going extinct, and just a few species have been conserved in colleges and botanical gardens in Japan, UK, Germany, Mexico, Uruguay, and many other nations.
7. Dionaea muscipula
Dionaea muscipula, a carnivorous plant, is a delicate species that successfully traps insects with the help of its capture mechanism.
It thrives in regions with mild climates where the winters are not that harsh and is primarily dispersed throughout the United States.
The “Venus flytrap,” as it is commonly known, typically grows in wetlands or swamps. Today, nonetheless, it belongs to a plant family that is going extinct due to natural factors.
8. Cycas revoluta
When speaking of endangered plants, it is important to bring up the sago palm, also known as the false palm or cica, which is a Japanese plant.
Because it needs extremely specific care and cannot withstand cold, it is now a plant that is potentially in danger.
Moreover, Cycas revoluta is a hazardous plant that can be poisonous if consumed. Without realizing how deadly it is, it is frequently used as a houseplant.
These desert plants are typically found on the Seychelles island of Mahé and are known to be the solitary member of the genus Medusagyne, which got its name from the way its fruits look.
It was first thought to be an extinct plant. However, some species were discovered in 1970.
Despite this, because its seeds do not fully germinate naturally, it currently remains an endangered species of flora.
10. Terminalia acuminata
The Brazilian plant known as guarajuba, or Terminalia acuminata, is found in the state of Rio de Janeiro’s forested areas. Although the species’ average height is about 18 meters, some specimens can reach heights of more than 100 meters.
Its superior wood was extensively employed in the 20th century to construct homes and boats, and the intense logging pressure caused it to go extinct as initially thought.
On the other hand, the Botanical Garden of Rio de Janeiro is attempting to repopulate a number of specimens that were rediscovered in a forest close to Grumari beach on the Atlantic.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the world’s most endangered plants. To prevent these plants from going extinct, it’s critical to be knowledgeable about them and their endangerment status. Together, we can ensure that these plants survive and flourish for many more years to come. We can still do something!