Extinct Plants of New York City

Photo Credit: Eva Abreu, Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License.

Of the 1,357 plant species that once thrived in New York City, only 771 are still found there. The main reasons behind the loss of most plants from the area are human-related: habitat destruction and the introduction of pests and diseases to the area. A recent slideshow in the New York Times takes a look at some of the extinct plants of New York City.The slideshow, created by urban conservation biologist Marielle Anzelone and botanical illustrator Wendy Hollender, looks at twelve of the beautiful plants that disappeared from the area -- including one that has made a surprising comeback.

From the swamp pink that once thrived on Staten Island, to the rose pink, which has made a comeback along Staten Island roadsides after being gone for decades, the slideshow is a great way to learn more about the native flora of the NYC area. Many of the plants featured have not only been lost from New York City, but are threatened in the rest of the U.S. as well. One plant that has gone extinct in the area is the round leaved sundew, a carnivorous plant that once lived in the bogs surrounding Brooklyn. Once the bogs were drained, the sundews disappeared.

It's interesting to imagine these plants once living in a place most people associate with concrete and glass. To see more of the extinct plants, check out the slideshow over at The New York Times.
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Studying Nature in the Middle of Manhattan

Tags: Biodiversity | Ecology | Endangered Species | Preservation