UK Plants That Face Extinction
The United Kingdom is home to an abundance of plant life, from the highlands of Scotland to the coastal cliffs of England. Unfortunately, as with all things in nature, not all plants are here to stay. Many species native to Britain have fallen victim to human activity and now face endangerment or even extinction.
There are over 30,000 types of vascular plants in the UK – and only a small percentage of those are under threat. However, some plants are at risk of disappearing forever. This article will take you through the most endangered plants in the UK and what you can do to help preserve them before it’s too late.
Dragon's-mouth (Macrorrhyncha erythronii)
This beautiful red orchid is completely unique to the UK and is only found growing around the coastal areas of Cornwall. The Dragon’s-mouth is classified as endangered due to its extremely limited habitat. The species is at risk from coastal erosion, over-collecting, tourism and climate change.
The Dragon’s-mouth is a fascinating plant, but it is also incredibly rare and therefore requires special attention to ensure that it does not go extinct. It is a carnivorous plant, which means that it obtains nutrients from the insects that it traps in its leaves. This orchid is also a very difficult plant to grow in captivity, making conservation efforts even more challenging.
If you see this amazing flower near the coastal areas of Cornwall, make sure to photograph it before it disappears.
Sea Rocket (chlorophytum Rotundatum)
Also known as Sea-rocket, this plant is native to the east coast of Cornwall, where it grows in brackish marshes. Unfortunately, Sea-rocket is threatened by coastal erosion, changes in agriculture and invasive plants. These threats have resulted in a drastic decline in the Sea-rocket population, which has led the species to be listed as endangered by the IUCN.
With the help of conservation efforts, the Sea-rocket has been reintroduced in a few areas where it is threatened. Although this species has found a bit of a comeback, it will take time for it to grow to its natural size and abundance again.
The Sea-rocket is a fascinating plant because it can reproduce in two different ways. The plant may produce seeds, which grow into new plants, or it may clone itself by growing roots that separate from the main plant. This makes the Sea-rocket extremely resilient and able to withstand damage from natural disasters. If you are lucky enough to see the Sea-rocket while in Cornwall, make sure to protect it so that it can continue to thrive in the future.
St. John’s-wort (Hypericum h Synaparium)
This beautiful flowering plant is found in the UK, Ireland and France, where it is listed as endangered by the IUCN. St. John’s-wort is threatened by changes in land use, tourism and over-collection. This plant is very special because and has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years, but it is also incredibly rare.
St. John’s-wort is a very delicate plant that can be easily damaged by human activity and poor weather conditions. It flowers from July to August and can be found in open areas of grassland, heathland and cliffs.
If you are visiting areas in the UK where St. John’s-wort can grow, be careful not to damage the flowers and make sure to take photos. This beautiful plant is at risk of disappearing forever if we do not take care of it.
Caper Spurge (Euphorbia Lathyrus)
Caper spurge is a plant that has its origins in the Mediterranean region, particularly Southern Europe. It was first discovered growing in the UK’s Cornwall region in 1998. Since then, botanists have discovered it in other parts of the South West and in a few locations in Wales. Caper spurge is a tall, weedy plant that is attractive to bees and butterflies. It flowers in late summer, producing bright yellow flowers. Caper spurge also produces large quantities of fruits that attract birds such as finches and blackbirds. Caper spurge has long been used in herbal medicine and is a popular ingredient in creams designed to treat skin ailments such as eczema and psoriasis. It is also used for tanning leather and as a dye in textiles.
Beaked Hazelnut and reed shingle plant (AHBA/AWSA)
The beaked hazelnut and reed shingle plant are two beautiful species endemic to the south coast of England. Both have been listed as critically endangered by the IUCN since 2010. The beaked hazelnut can be found in just three locations along the coast in Devon and Cornwall, while the reed shingle plant has a much wider range, from Cornwall to Norfolk. Although these species are declining, no major threats have been identified. However, because of the small populations of each plant, any damage that occurs to their habitats greatly increases the risk of extinction.
Orchids are beautiful flowering plants that are found in abundance in the UK. Unfortunately, many types of orchids are at risk of going extinct due to over-collection, changes in land use and climate change. Orchids are incredibly delicate and require very specific conditions to thrive.
There are more than 25,000 types of orchid in the world and each species is very unique. Some of these plants can only grow in very specific conditions and habitats. This means that many orchids are very rare and need extra protection in order to survive.
Orchids are a very special species in that they are able to self-pollinate, meaning that they do not need insects or other animals to help them reproduce. This makes it very tempting for humans to collect orchids and potentially harm the species.
Orchids are a popular choice among gardeners and plant collectors. They are easy to grow indoors and make great houseplants. They have long been used in herbal medicine, particularly in Chinese medicine and they have also been used to create dyes and pigments for paints, fabrics and bookbinding.
Dune Gentian (Gentianopsis ciliolata)
The dune gentian is a beautiful purple flower that grows only in the coastal dunes of Norfolk. Listed as critically endangered since 2012, it is threatened by the loss of its coastal habitat due to coastal erosion and sea level rise, as well as damage caused by recreational activities. Dune gentians have been a protected species in the UK since 1979 but, this has not stopped human activities from damaging their habitats – either accidentally or through ignorance. For example, people may be unaware that driving off-road vehicles, walking on the dunes, or even flying drones and helicopters above the coastal dunes can cause serious damage to the gentians. The best way to protect the dune gentian and other dune species is to stay on footpaths and avoid driving off-road in the coastal dunes.
Dark Red Helophyte
The Dark Red Helophyte is a flowering plant that grows in salt marshes. The plant is currently under threat of extinction due to changes in habitat and climate change. The Dark Red Helophyte grows slowly, so it’s best to grow it in a pot. The plant will eventually flower, producing pink flowers in the summer. The Dark Red Helophyte is a protected species in the UK and is listed on the Red List of threatened species.
You can help to preserve the Dark Red Helophyte by growing it in your garden. It is a popular choice among wildflower enthusiasts, but is difficult to find for sale.
Dark red helophyte is a pretty, long-stemmed flower that can grow up to 50 centimetres tall. It is a great choice for coastal gardens and thrives in areas with a high salt content.
The hairy bittercress is a common weed found in the UK, but it is actually a rare species. Recent research found that the hairy bittercress is actually two species: the common species and a rarer species that is endemic to South Wales. The common species of hairy bittercress has been listed as endangered since 1981, while the South Wales species is critically endangered. The main threats to hairy bittercress are changes in land use and the use of pesticides.
London Stonecrop (peblmum Labyrinthicum)
The London Stonecrop is a plant that is native to the UK and Ireland, where it is listed as endangered by the IUCN. This species is threatened by changes in land use and invasive species.
It is a flowering plant that grows in the coastal areas of the UK and it flowers in the spring, growing berries that turn a vibrant blue. This plant is extremely rare and is only found in a few locations in the UK.
It is crucial to protect the London Stonecrop because it can only grow in specific soil and climatic conditions. This plant is special because it is the only member of its genus to grow outside of the Mediterranean region.
You can help to preserve London Stonecrops by growing them in your garden.
The giant helleborine is one of the largest orchid species in the world, growing as tall as 3 feet (1 metre). It is also one of the most endangered. The giant helleborine grows in just a few locations throughout southern England, and has been listed as critically endangered since 2000.
The main threats to the species are changes in land use and the loss of its habitat – the only places where it grows are heathland sites that are now rare in Britain.
The UK’s wide range of plants gives it a rich and diverse ecosystem, but many of these species are threatened by human activity. By taking steps to reduce our carbon emissions and polluting activities, we can help reduce the threats to these plants.
You can also help by volunteering with charities that protect endangered plants, such as the Wildlife Trusts. With your help, we can protect these beautiful species before it’s too late. By knowing which species are most at risk, we can target our efforts to help them.
Many of these plants have very specific habitat requirements, making it difficult for them to survive in a changing climate. By protecting these species, we are protecting the rich biodiversity of the UK!