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Rare Plant Program

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) Rare Plant Program

Statewide the program currently recognizes more than 1600 plant taxa (species, subspecies and varieties) as rare or endangered in California (CNPS Lists 1B and 2). This constitutes approximately 20% of California’s native flora. More than 500 additional species are on the CNPS list of plants of limited distribution (List 4, a “watch” list), and approximately 55 additional species are on the CNPS list of taxa about which we need more information (List 3). The Inventory also contains information on approximately 25 native plants that are presumed to have gone extinct in California in the last 100 years (primarily because of land conversion to agriculture and urban development). For more information see the CNPS  Rare Plant Program page “Rare Plant Program” http://www.cnps.org/cnps/rareplants/

Santa Clara Valley Chapter Rare Plants

The Santa Clara Valley Chapter of CNPS includes most of San Mateo County and all of Santa Clara County. San Mateo and Santa Clara County are endowed with an incredible richness of native plant species. This is due in part to our location that includes parts of the South Coast Ranges (Diablo Range), San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains and the San Mateo Coast. Our botanical region provides unique ecological conditions and over 100 preserves with over 200,000 acres of natural areas and public lands, and approximately 1,300 native taxa.

There are 151 rare, threatened, and endangered vascular plants, 4 mosses and 1 lichen in San Mateo and Santa Clara County. Of those 7 are Federally-listed, 9 are Federally and State listed, and 7 are State-listed as endangered or threatened for a total of 23 taxa that are listed.

Below is our Rare Plant Table with some Plant Pages. We will be updating the table and adding more pages as they are finished. The Plant Pages were designed by Toni Corelli (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Karen Tanner (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 

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