Rare plants

Some Connecticut plants are found less frequently now than they once were.

Below  is a list of such species. You can document the declines by going to the University of Connecticut herbarium and conducting a search for these species. Do not limit the search to Connecticut but obtain all specimens in the database.

After conducting the search, write on a piece of paper the date on which each specimen was collected.

Then add up the number of specimens that were collected each decade since the first collection and plot the data.

You will not be able to generate a map for these species because the herbarium suppresses the precise location information. The herbarium does this because many of these species are on the state’s endangered species list, and it is important to discourage unscrupulous collectors, who might otherwise want to collect these rare plants. Some of the world’s most beautiful plants are threatened with extinction because collectors harvested so many of the plants growing wild to sell them to gardeners.

After plotting the data, get information on the species from the Plants database (or other web sites; the Plants database also will tell you the common name of your plant). Look especially for information that might help explain why the species is less widespread than it once was.

Questions to answer after reviewing the data:

Species list

Abies balsamea
Alopecurus aequalis
Anemone canadensis
Arethusa bulbosa
Aristida longespica
Aristida purpurascens
Asplenium montanum
Aster nemoralis
Aster radula
Aster spectabilis
Betula pumila
Botrychium simplex
Cirsium horridulum
Corydalis flavula
Cryptogramma stelleri
Cypripedium acaule
Cypripedium arietinum
Cypripedium parviflorum
Cypripedium reginae
Deschampsia caespitosa
Dicentra canadensis
Diospyros virginiana
Diplazium pycnocarpon
Dryopteris campyloptera
Dryopteris goldiana
Equisetum palustre
Equisetum scirpoides
Eupatorium album
Hudsonia ericoides
Hudsonia tomentosa
Isotria medeoloides
Krigia biflora
Ledum groenlandicum
Lipariss liliifolia
Liquidambar styraciflua
Lycopodium selago
Lygodium palmatum
Malaxis monophyllos
Malaxis unifolia
Megalodonta beckii
Morus rubra
Oxalis violacea
Pinus resinosa
Platanthera blephariglottis
Platanthera ciliaris
Platanthera dilatata
Platanthera flava
Platanthera hookeri
Platanthera orbiculata
Polymnia canadensis
Potentilla arguta
Sagittaria subulata
Scutellaria integrifolia
Thuja occidentalis
Vitis novae-angliae