A state-by-state look at examples of rare and endangered plants, highlighted by the New England Wild Flower Society in a report being released on Thursday:
Researchers say Connecticut is home to approximately 2,850 species of plants, about 62 percent native. The three-bird's orchid is native to northern hardwoods forest, with habitats including the Talcott Mountain State Forest and Canaan Mountain Natural Area Preserve. Listed as endangered by the state, the plant is said to be at risk from development and forest clearing, deer browsing and invasive plants. Among wildlife the plant supports are nesting birds, large mammals such as bear, moose and deer, and the blue-spotted salmander. Another state endangered plant is Parker's pipewort, native to river and stream habitats and threatened by dams, agricultural clearing and pollution. The plant helps support river otters, rare wood turtles and some dragonfly species.
Researchers say Maine has about 2,100 plant species, of which about 67 percent are native to the state. The alpine bearberry, listed as threatened by the state, is said to be at risk from climate change and trampling by hikers among other things. Places where it can be found include Mount Kahadin and Saddleback Mountain. The plant helps support Bicknell's Thrush, shrews and the snowshoe hare among other animals. Furbish's loutwort, a state and federally endangered plant, is at risk from dams, agricultural clearing and pollution. The plant, native to river and stream habitats including Saco River Preserve, helps support a number of animals including the Bald Eagle and minks.
Researchers say Massachusetts has just under 3,000 species of plants, about 67 percent native. The Northern beggar's ticks, a plant native to estuarine marshes including Crane Beach in Ipswich and Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, is listed as endangered by the state due to factors that include sea-level rise and an invasive reed. The plant helps support a variety of wildlife including mammals that feed on sea life, seabirds and two species of snail. The sandplain agalinis, a federally endangered species, resides in sandplain grasslands and heathlands, with habitats that include Long Point Wildlife Refuge in Martha's Vineyard. It helps support the Snowy Owl and three rare butterflies among other wildlife.
Researchers say New Hampshire has about 2,000 plant species, of which approximately 67 percent are native. Listed as threatened by the state, the White Mountain avens, native to the Presidential Range and Franconia Notch, has been put at risk by factors that include trampling by hikers and hotel development. Wildlife it helps support include two butterflies that are found only in the White Mountains area. The northern blazing star, found in Ossipee Pine Barrens, is listed as endangered by New Hampshire due to invasive species and habitat loss from development. The plant helps support more than a dozen rare moths and butterflies and several bird species.
Researchers say Rhode Island is home to approximately 1,700 plant species, about 77 percent native. The annual rose-gentian, listed as endangered by the state, is threatened by hydrological change, sea-level rise and invasive reeds among other factors. Habitats include Trustom Pond in Charlestown and Narrow River in Narragansett. It helps support a variety of wildlife including commercially important fish and wildlife. Another state endangered plant is the violet wood sorrel, native to habitats such as George Washington Management Area in Glocester and put at risk by forest clearing, deer browsing and invasive plants.
Researchers say Vermont has about 2,150 plant species, about 65 percent native. The wild lupine, found at areas such as Sunny Hollow Natural Area in Colchester, is listed as endangered by the state due to factors including land development, sand extraction and invasive species. The plant helps support the pine warbler and rare butterflies and other insects. Diapensia, also listed as endangered by the state, resides in alpine and subalpine habitats such as Mt. Mansfield and is at risk from climate change and development. It supports a variety of animals including snowshoe hare.
Source: The New England Wild Flower Society.