8 Beautiful Endangered Plants (Slideshow)


It’s not just polar bears and tigers that are threatened by endangerment. Indeed, there are a number of fascinating, beautiful, and odd plants that are on the brink of extinction. Click through for some of the planet’s most unique and gorgeous plants.

See Also: 8 of the World’s Rarest Mammals (Slideshow)


1. Capa Rose

The capa rose used grow all over the island of Puerto Rico; today, however, it’s habitat is considerably smaller. Like many endangered species, deforestation, agriculture and forest service management are all contributing to its decline. Hurricanes are also a threat to the capa rose.

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2. Mother-In-Law’s Cushion

Though I’m partial to this silly name, these cacti are more scientifically known as echinocactus grusonii. A popular houseplant, Mother-In-Law’s Cushion is critically endangered in its native Mexico.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Related: 6 Wonderfully Weird Succulents (Slideshow)


3. Koʻoloaʻula

Fewer than 500 ko’oloa’ula plants remain in the dry forests of Hawaii, making it one of the state’s most endangered plants. Once used to make leis, the beautiful flowers are often hidden by the plant’s much larger leaves, so it’s often hard to notice the plant from a distance.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


4. Giant Quiver Tree

These critically endangered trees are native to Namibia and South Africa, where many unusual succulent species call home. They can grow up to 32 feet tall. They’re considered the most prized aloe tree by American gardeners, and, on the rare occasion seeds or plants are for sale, have a hefty price tag.

See Also: 6 Strange and Scary Plants


5. Grandidier’s Baobob

Grandidier’s baobob are extremely rare trees native only to the island nation of Madagascar. The Malagasy people eat the tree’s fruit and produce cooking oil from its seeds, activities that aren’t as big of a threat to the trees as deforestation. Luckily, however, Madagascar’s protected land will triple in size, likely protecting the trees from total extinction.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


6. Orbea Paradoxa

These unusual flowers were nearly extinct after the construction of a dam in their native South Africa. Luckily, however, the National Botanical Institute of South Africa was able to rescue a number of specimens. Check out more orbea flowers here, there are a number of stunning relatives to the orbea paradoxa!

Image Credit: Martin Heigan via Flickr

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7. Corpse Flower

One of two plants that earn the nickname “corpse flower,” for emitting an odor akin to the smell of rotting flesh, the Rafflesia arnoldii is native to Sumatra, Indonesia. It holds the distinction as being the largest flower on earth; it grows to about 3 feet in diameter and weighs as much as 24 pounds! The number still surviving in the wild is unknown, but its rainforest habitat is suffering from deforestation.


8. Welwitschia

These odd plants are native to the Namib desert in Africa, and appear on Namibia’s national coat of arms. Some welwitschia are thought to be up to 2,000 years old! There are a fair number of plants in the wild, but they grow so slowly they are considered endangered.

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Lady Kaira
None None2 years ago

very interesting thank you

Bonnie Lynn M.
Bonnie Lynn M2 years ago

Thank you

Carla van der Meer


Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M2 years ago

Noted with thanks Katie. Isn't it too bad that the Corpse Flower has such a terrible odour, as it is beautiful. I also love the Giant Quiver Trees, that can grow over 35 feet, and are favoured for their aloe.

Lis T.
Elisabeth T2 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Estelle S.
Estelle S3 years ago


Terry V.
Terry V4 years ago

thank you

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

the one that smells like decay? I have a few people who truly have earned one lol

Diana T.
Diana T4 years ago

I believe Rafflesia flowers are native to Malaysia and are largely found in the malaysian forests.

Alana M.
Alana Mawson4 years ago

How come century plants aren't on list?