National Collection of Rare and Endangered Plants

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By: Cheryl Birker, California Botanic GardenDuncan Bell collects Panamint Mountains buckwheat at Death Valley NP

Bringing Rarity Together

The Center for Plant Conservation maintains a collection of more than 2,600 of America’s most imperiled native plants through its network of world class botanical gardens. Our 79 Institutional Conservation Partners safeguard endangered plant material in “ex situ” botanical collections including seed banks, nurseries, and garden displays. An important conservation resource, the National Collection serves as an emergency backup in case a species becomes extinct or no longer reproduces in the wild. To communicate this important work, CPC and its network of conservation experts actively update web profiles for all National Collection species, which serve as a historical record of conservation actions taken to save these rare plants. Search the National Collection and view the plant profiles to learn more about these beautiful, imperiled rare plants and the gardens that conserve them.

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Institutional Conservation Partners
Species in the National Collection
Conservation Collections

Ruby Valley Buckwheat

(Eriogonum argophyllum)

Ruby Valley Buckwheat (Eriogonum argophyllum) is a critically imperiled buckwheat endemic to a single valley: Ruby Valley, Nevada. This Nevada endemic species sports a brilliant spherical yellow flower, much like the silhouette of a firework—a perfect choice to ring in the New Year. Ruby Valley Buckwheat is protected by the state of Nevada, and the one population known to exist is on private land. Although past threats to this species included potential geothermal development and recreational activities, a cooperative agreement with the private landowner has helped to mitigate risk and protect Ruby Valley Buckwheat.

Eriogonum argophyllum is secured in the CPC National Collection at Red Butte Garden in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation (NLGRP). In 2011, Red Butte Garden collected seed from the only known population of this species for storage at their seed bank and at NLGRP. Red Butte Garden staff have also germinated seed from this rare plant and grown seedlings to maturity in their greenhouse.

Learn more about conservation actions taken for Ruby Valley Buckwheat on its National Collection Plant Profile, and help support critical conservation work for this species at Red Butte Garden with a Plant Sponsorship.

Background photo: Eriogonum argophyllum flower, in situ in Nevada. Photo Credit: Matt Berger.

CPC National Collection Search

The Center for Plant Conservation’s National Collection of Endangered Plants contains plant material for more than 2,500 of the country’s most imperiled native plants. An important conservation resource, the National Collection is a backup in case a species becomes extinct or no longer reproduces in the wild. Search the National Collection and view the plant profiles to learn more about these beautiful, imperiled plants.

Visit our Rare Plant Finder for a More Advanced Search
By: Jennifer Possley Passiflora sexflora

Sponsor a Plant in the National Collection

To offset some of the expenses of collecting, growing, and researching plant species in the National Collection, the Center for Plant Conservation created the Plant Sponsorship Program to provide Participating Institutions responsible for a named species stable funding for the long-term work. A sponsorship does not cover all the expenses, but it provides significant help and stability, and has a critical and lasting impact on plant conservation efforts.

News from our Save Plants Digest

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Save Plants: May 2024 Newsletter

Earlier this month, the Center for Plant Conservation's (CPC) National Meeting convened in San Diego...

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Highlights from the CPC National Office

During the National Meeting, the CPC National Office team and several of our partners gave a series ...

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CPC’s 40th Anniversary Summit

In conjunction with the National Meeting, the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) celebrated our org...


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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