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Learn More about Plants

orange flowers of butterfly-weed plant
Butterfly-weed is listed as exploitably vulnerable in New York State. Photo by L. Heady

The Hudson River estuary watershed contains a diversity of plants and plant communities. The Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Framework (Penhollow et al. 2006) reported that 25 of the 31 vegetative cover types identified in the entire state of New York occur within the estuary corridor. There are several DEC and partner resources available to learn about native plants of conservation concern in New York and the Hudson Valley.

Conservation Guides for Rare Plants

The New York Natural Heritage Program’s (NYNHP) online conservation guides are designed to help land managers, decision-makers, planners, scientists, consultants, and the interested public better understand the rare species and natural communities found in New York. There are over 400 plant guides, with details on conservation status, distribution, threats, research and management needs, and identification. Initial development of the guides was funded by the Hudson River Estuary Program.

New York Rare Plant Status and Protected Plant Lists

Bright red berries of red baneberry plant in the forest
Red baneberry is listed as exploitably vulnerable in New York State. Photo by L. Heady.

The New York Natural Heritage Program publishes a list of rare plants of New York State with annual updates. The list includes rarity status, counties of occurrence, and phenology, and is intended for conservation, education, and research.

The state's list of protected native plants is available in 6 NYCRR Part 193.3, which designates species as endangered, threatened, rare, or exploitably vulnerable. Plant species on the protected list may not be picked, removed, or damaged without the consent of the landowner. Violators of the regulation are subject to fines.  

Biodiversity Assessment Manual for the Hudson River Estuary Corridor

The Biodiversity Assessment Manual was written by Hudsonia Ltd. and published by the DEC in 2001 to help local agencies, citizens, developers, and others identify and protect ecologically-sensitive habitats in the Hudson River estuary watershed. The 508-page, loose-leaf volume includes 16 profiles of plant species that are a small sample of the plants that deserve conservation consideration in the watershed. 

Helpful Links

NYNHP Conservation Guides

Rare Plants of New York State

NYCRR Protected Native Plant List

New York Flora Atlas