Join now Mirabilis macfarlanei CPC Home
About CPC
CPC National Collection
Conservation Directory Resources
Invasive Plant Species Plant News
Plant Links Participating Institutions
Contribute
Search CPC
Mission    Board     Staff    Science Advisory Council    FAQ'S    CPC Home

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Center for Plant Conservation?

2. Where is the Center for Plant Conservation?

3. What does the Center for Plant Conservation do?

4. What is the National Collection of Endangered Plants?

5. Where is the National Collection of Endangered Plants stored?

6. Why is the Center for Plant Conservation important?

7. What is an imperiled plant?

8. Why should I care about imperiled plants?

9. What can I do to help protect America’s vanishing flora?

 

 

CPC's Participating Institutions work with imperiled plants off-site and in the wild.

CPC's Participating Institutions work with
imperiled plants off-site and in the wild.

 

Click on CPC's brochure for more information.

 

 

1. What is the Center for Plant Conservation? (top of page)CPC Brochure

The Center for Plant Conservation is dedicated solely to preventing the extinction of America’s imperiled, native flora. The Center is a network of America’s leading botanical institutions.

Click here to watch the Center for Plant Conservation’s 25th anniversary commemorative video.

 

2. Where is the Center for Plant Conservation? (top of page)

The Center for Plant Conservation’s national office is hosted by the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri. The Center for Plant Conservation’s 39 participating institutions are located throughout the country, from Hawaii to Massachusetts.

 

3. What does the Center for Plant Conservation do? (top of page)

The Center for Plant Conservation recovers America’s vanishing flora. The Center maintains the National Collection of Endangered Plants, a collection of cultivated plants and seeds of imperiled, native plants in the United States. The Center’s participating institutions work with these imperiled plants off-site and in the wild. In the greenhouse, institution scientists conduct horticultural research and learn how to grow the plants from seed or from cuttings. The Center’s scientists then provide plant material for restoration efforts in the wild. Institution scientists also assist in monitoring populations in the wild, managing habitat and restoring plants to native habitats.

 

 

4. What is the National Collection of Endangered Plants? (top of page)

The National Collection of Endangered Plants contains plant material for more than 750 of the country’s most imperiled native plants. An important conservation resource, the Collection is a back-up in case a species becomes extinct or no longer reproduces in the wild. The Collection provides the material needed for restoration work for the species. It’s also an important resource for the scientific study of plant rarity, rare plant life cycles and rare plant storage and germination requirements.


5. Where is the National Collection of Endangered Plants stored? (top of page)

The National Collection is stored at the Center’s participating institutions across the country. Parts of the Collection are stored and maintained at the USDA’s National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation.


 

6. Why is the Center for Plant Conservation important? (top of page)

The Center for Plant Conservation is important because the Center works to recover imperiled plants in the wild. Each of the 50 states is home to at least one imperiled native plant species. About 16 percent of native U.S. plant species is of conservation concern. Nearly 4 percent of native flora is on or qualifies for the federal Endangered Species List. Of all native U.S. plant species, 16 percent are found in 20 or fewer places, have experienced steep declines or are considered at-risk, according to NatureServe.


 

7. What is an imperiled plant? (top of page)

Some species are naturally rare and have limited habitats due to unique climate conditions or geology. Imperiled plants are those considered vulnerable to extinction due to very low numbers or serious threats to the population. Most plants have declined and become imperiled because of habitat loss or degradation, invasion by exotic species, over-collecting or pollution. Imperiled plants are in danger of becoming extinct if they are not protected and properly managed for recovery.


 

8. Why should I care about imperiled plants? (top of page)

Plants provide us with food, fiber, flavor, fragrance, flowers, fuel, medicine and inspiration! Plants have economic and intrinsic values that cannot be measured. Our imperiled plants have evolved over millions of years to live in the varied ecosystems that now constitute our country. What’s more, we still know very little about imperiled plants. We are destroying plants and their habitats much faster than we are protecting and studying them. If we lose these species, we will be losing a part of our heritage, valuable scientific treasures and the potential gifts these plants might offer.

 

9. What can I do to help protect America’s vanishing flora? (top of page)

There are a variety of ways to keep America’s vanishing flora from being lost forever.

  • Donate money to the Center for Plant Conservation.
  • Sponsor an imperiled plant from your state.
  • Volunteer at the participating institution nearest you.
  • Prevent the spread of invasive species.
  • Support the conservation efforts in your local community.