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Why Rare Plants Matter

We have only scratched the surface of understanding the role plants play in ecosystems or the uses they may offer. But what we do know is wondrous. Learn how plants – including rare plants –  are integral to a healthy planet and how their incredible diversity make life as we know it possible.



A trusted authority on plant conservation science and practices, CPC ensures conservationists are equipped with the information and resources needed to best save plants.


Rare plants included in the National Collection are safeguarded from extinction and can help conservationists restore healthy, diverse populations to nature.



CPC’s Rare Plant Academy provides training and tools to prepare the next generation of rare plant conservationists.



Contributing to the Rare Plant Academy Forum gives plant professionals the opportunity to share their knowledge and help others learn from their experience.



Advocacy is an important tool at our disposal to use in saving rare and endangered plants. In the broadest sense of the word, advocacy means to share and communicate the mission of our organization. Sometimes, however, public policies, laws and regulations hinder, thwart and even counter our mission of saving plants. That is when we need to focus our efforts to urge lawmakers to rule in favor of these imperiled plants. Plants can’t voice their concerns on Capitol Hill, so we must.

Download and share our advocacy flyer.


After narrowly missing passage in the last congress, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) has been reintroduced in the Senate with bipartisan co-sponsors Sen. Heinrich (D-NV) and Sen. Tillis (R-NC).

This bill would be an unprecedented investment in rare species conservation that could directly benefit our conservation partner programs. RAWA would provide $1 billion to states, tribes, and agencies to implement Wildlife Action Plans including extinction prevention strategies for species of greatest conservation need.

RAWA likely could come to a vote in the Senate late April. Currently, the Senate is on recess and public support is needed to secure additional votes to ensure passage. Now is the time to act by encouraging as many people as possible to contact their senators.

ACT NOW: Contact your representatives or call the Capitol switchboard in D.C. on (202) 224- 3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office. Urge them the co-sponsor and support this critical legislation that will support rare plant conservation!


CPC safeguards rare plants by advancing science-based conservation practices, connecting and empowering plant conservationists, and inspiring all to protect biodiversity for future generations.

By Ben Durrington Encelia Californica

A Brain Trust For Protecting Plants

CPC is a network of over 70 plant institutions that brings together data, scientific prowess, and applied conservation experience to advance work that saves plants. This brain trust of plant conservation experts has four decades of experience in synthesizing cutting-edge research which builds the foundation for good conservation practice. CPC saves plants by providing information and resources to our partners beyond.

Meet Our Network

The 2018 Highlands Biological Station field course in introduction to lichens on the culmination of their trip to study threatened endemic species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Clifftops of Mount LeConte, Tennessee. Photo credit: Jessica Allen, courtesy of New York Botanical Garden.

National Collection species, Grad Mesa Beardtongue (Penstemon mensarum), collected in 2019 by Denver Botanic Gardens through CPC-Kew Foundation America. Photo credit: Alex Seglias, Denver Botanic Gardens.

The Plants In Peril

Integral to a healthy planet, plants and their incredible diversity make life as we know it possible. Yet two in five of the world’s plants are at risk of extinction – 4,400 of which occur in the United States. With your help we can safeguard more of these unique species by adding them to the National Collection and conserving them in the wild. With CPC’s Rare Plant Finder tool you can find which plants near you are at risk – and which have dedicated conservationists within our network working to safeguard their existence.

Explore the National Collection

News from our Save Plants Digest



With your help we can safeguard more of the unique plants in peril and in need of protection by adding them to the National Collection and conserving them in the wild.

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