Rare and Endangered Plants

More than 34,000 flowering plant species worldwide are either extinct or endangered. Many native species or wild relatives are on the brink of extinction. Among the plants most at risk are lilies, irises, palms, and roses. While many groups support endangered mammals, plants have become more vulnerable to mass extinction due to deforestation, construction, development, agriculture, logging and other plants including non-native species that crowd out the native species. Plants are fundamental to nature's functioning, i.e. converting sunlight into food, raw materials for medicine, food and shelter to wildlife, and providing oxygen to keep humans alive. The most recent resurgence is the use of native plants as medicinal herbs in pill form. Homeopathy is back in style instead of pharmaceutical price inflation to the consumer. The Nature Conservancy states that the lists of imperiled plants fill large books as more plants become endangered to the point of extinction. The list of extinct plants does not include domesticated plants only wild relatives or native plants. If botanical gardens can not save the endangered plants, then the human race may never know the true medicinal or food properties the plant could provide.

Under the direction of George Sanko, Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Garden became a safe haven for endangered, threatened, and rare plants of the Southeast. George Sanko has spent many years rescuing plants and teaching many young (and older) adults the importance of native plants.  His passion and enthusiasm for native plants and their survival is the backbone of the garden. His invigorating educational talks inspires those around him.

The main purpose of the Garden is to educate the public as to the native plants of the southeast and their growing requirements.

Below are a few links which have information on the endangered and threatened species in Georgia. Note that the lists repeat so you may only want to view a couple of them. The first two are probably the easiest to use. The third link provides information by county.


Two Protected Plants of Georgia websites; the list is the same, but the federal version also provides links to many of the plants. The Geogia version does not provide links for the plants, but does give both State and Federal status. The federal list also includes a link to the state list.

Federal List
State List
Federal search by plant or state webpage

The Georgia Rare Species List by Scientific and Common Name from the Georgia DNR, Wildlife Resources Division lists the plants and a link to a detailed description of each plant.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources publishes a list of the Protected Plant Species in Georgia.

Finally, Georgia State Botanical Garden publishes a book titled Field Guide to the Rare Plants of Georgia. This site gives a brief description of the publication.

The Georgia Botanical Society is also a good source of information. For more information see the Ga. Botanical Society website or use the Ga Botanical Society ("contact us" webpage).

You may also wish to consider looking into the Georgia Native Plant Society. Many of the volunteers at the garden are either members of GNPS, the Georgia Botanical Society or both.