Category Archives: plants

Acalypha sericea var. baurii (B. L. Rob. & Greenm.) Webster

Baur’s Silky Copperleaf (Acalypha sericea var. baurii)

The Silky Copperleaf (Acalypha sericea Anderss.) is endemic to the Galápagos Islands, where several varieties are found on many of the islands.

This one, discussed here, is apparently restricted to the Isla San Christóbal and is known only from a single collection that was purchased sometimes in the middle of the 19th century. [1]

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References:

[1] I. Loren Wiggins; D. M. Porter; E. F. Anderson: Flora of the Galápagos Islands. Stanford University Press 1971

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edited: 11.06.2020

Rhipidoglossum orientalis (Mansf.) Szlach. & Olszewski

Eastern Rhipidoglossum Orchid (Rhipidoglossum orientalis)

The Eastern Rhipidoglossum Orchid was described in 2001, apparently on the basis of some old herbarium material.

The species is thought to be (or to have been) endemic to the forests of the Uluguru Mountains in Tanzania; it was obviously last found in 1933 and is believed to be possibly extinct.

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edited: 20.08.2022

Prismatomeris fragrans ssp. andamanica (Ridl.) J. T. Johanss.

Andaman Islands Prismatomeris (Prismatomeris fragrans ssp. andamanica)

This subspecies of the Fragrant Prismatomeris (Prismatomeris fragrans E. T. Geddes) was originally described as a distinct species in 1940; as its name implies, it is restricted to the Andaman Islands.

This plant was not found recently and is thought to be possibly extinct.

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edited: 24.08.2022

Euphorbia equisetiformis Stewart

Equisetiform Spurge (Euphorbia equisetiformis)

This enigmatic species is known only from the type material that was collected on Isla Isabella, Galápagos Islands, it appears not to be related to any other Central- or South American species of its genus.

The species is a leafless, middle-sized shrub with several stems that bear clusters of branches on their upper nodes. [1]

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References:

[1] I. Loren Wiggins; D. M. Porter; E. F. Anderson: Flora of the Galápagos Islands. Stanford University Press 1971

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edited: 11.06.2020

Triaspis schliebenii A. Ernst

Schlieben’s Triaspis (Triaspis schliebenii)

Schlieben’s Triaspis was described in 1935; it is known only from the type material that was collected somewhere around Lake Lutamba in the Lindi District, Tanzania; it was not found subsequently and is thought to be possibly extinct.

The photo below shows a somewhat similar-looking species, the Blue-leaved Triaspis (Triaspis glaucophyllaEngl.) from southern Africa.

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Blue-leaved Triaspis (Triaspis glaucophylla)

Photo: Francois du Randt
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/francoisdurandt

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 21.08.2022

Cyperus chionocephalus (Chiov.) Chiov. ex Chiarugi

Snowhead Sedge (Cyperus chionocephalus)

The Snowhead Sedge was described in 1939, it is, or was, endemic to Somalia; the author of the species mentiones the following about it (in a revision in 1951).:

Poco diffuso; poco sviluppato in altezza (10-20 cm.). A Mega cresce lungo l’uadi presso la Residenza Italiana e sulla collina presso il Consolata Inglese, sotto Juniperus procera.” [1]

translation:

Not widespread; little developed in height (10-20 cm.). A big stand grows along the wadi at the Italian residence and on the hill near the English consulate, under Juniperus procera.”

According to this account, the species appears to have been restricted to an area that now is the city of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

***

I personally have no further information about this species, it appears in a list of extinct species, thus I’ll mention it here as well.

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References:

[1] Emilio Chiovenda: Missione Biologica Sagan-Omo. Journal of Plant Taxonomy and Geography 8(1): 1-120. 1951

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edited: 27.05.2019

Phacelia amabilis Constances

Saline Valley Phacelia (Phacelia amabilis)

The Saline Valley Phacelia was discovered in 1942 in the Saline Valley in the Inyo County of California, USA and was never found again since, it is thus declared possibly extinct.

It may, however, just have been a color variant of another species, the Notch-leaved Phacelia (Phacelia crenulata Torr. ex S.Watson).

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Depiction from: ‘Le Roy Abrams: An illustrated flora of the Pacific States: Washington, Oregon, and California. Stanford University, Stanford University Press 1923-60’

(no known copyright restrictions)

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edited: 09.11.2021

Miconia leandroides Cogn. & Gleason ex Gleason

Bolivar Miconia (Miconia leandroides)

This species is known from two collections from the late 19th century, both were made somewhere at or near the city of Guaranda, the capital of the Bolívar Province of Ecuador.

This locality is now highly degraded and thus this species is most possibly extinct.

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edited: 28.01.2020

Thomasia gardneri Paunt

Mouth Holland Thomasia (Thomasia gardneri)

The Mount Holland Thomasia was described in 1974, based on the type material that apparently was collected in 1929; it was restricted to a region somewhere near Mt. Holland in southern Western Australia.

The species is now most likely extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Kelly A. Sheperd: A key to the species of Thomasia (Malvaceae: Byttnerioideae). Nuytsia 30: 195-202. 2019

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edited: 03.05.2022

Elaeocarpus sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpus sp.)

This taxon is known from wooden remains collected near the Ahu Akahanga at the southern coast of Rapa Nui, it most certainly was an endemic species, which is now extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Catherine Orliac: Données nouvelles sur la composition de la flore de l’île de Pâques. Journal de la Société des Océanistes 107: 135-143. 1998

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edited: 11.12.2018

Aglaia densitricha Pannell

Densely-haired Aglaia (Aglaia densitricha)

This species was described in 1992, it is known only from the type material which had been collected in 1953 along a road in the state of Terengganu, Malaysia.

The species was not found since and is thought to might be extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] D. J. Mabberley; C. M. Pannell; A. M. Sing: Meliaceae. Flora Malesiana; Series 1 – Spermatophyta 12: 1-388. 1995

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edited: 04.09.2019

Dicliptera dodsonii Wassh.

Dodson’s Dicliptera (Dicliptera dodsonii)

Dodson’s Dicliptera was described in 1977, it is known from just four collections that were made in a private forest of the Río Palenque Biological Station in the Los Rios Province of Ecuador.

The species was apparently last found in 1986 or maybe sometimes later, but since it hasn’t been found during any recent search it is now considered possibly extinct.

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edited: 13.11.2021

Hedyotis evenia Thwaites

Evenia’s Hedyotis (Hedyotis evenia)

This species was described in 1859; it was collected in the forests of the Samanala Kanda (Adam’s Peak) in the central highlands of Sri Lanka

A small shrub, yellow when dry; branches acutely 4-angled. Leaves 1/2-3/4 in., coriaceous above, varnished and with a few scattered raised points. Cymes few-fld. – Fruit unknown, and hence the position of the species in the genus.” [1]

The species’ name appears in lists of extinct plant species; thus, I will mention it here briefly; unfortunately, I have no further information.

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References:

[1] Joseph Dalton Hooker: The Flora of British India. London: L. Reeve 1875-97

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edited: 28.04.2022

Mikania iserniana Cuatrec.

Guayaquil Mikania (Mikania iserniana)

This species is known only on the basis of the type material which was collected in 1864 near the city of Guayaquil in the Guayas Province, Ecuador.

The vegetation of the region is now highly destroyed due to urban and agricultural development, the species was never recorded since the collection of the type material and is thus probably extinct.

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edited: 25.04.2021

Scyphostelma sodiroi (K. Schum.) Liede & Meve

Sodiro’s Stranglevine (Scyphostelma sodiroi)

Sodiro’s Stranglevine is one of several species in this genus that are endemic to Ecuador. It is known from only two collections, the first one dating from 1887 and the last one from 1936, both were purchased in the Pichincha Province

The species was not found since and appears to be extinct.

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References:

[1] Sigrid Liede-Schumann; Ulrich meve: The Orthosiinae revisited (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae, Asclepiadeae). Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 99(1): 44-81. 2013

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edited: 19.09.2020

Danais corymbosa Balf. f.

Corymbose Danais (Danais corymbosa)

This species was described in 1879, it is endemic to the island of Rodrigues in the Mascarene Islands.

This species is not common on the island and only occurs in the higher districts.

The Rodrigues plant is not unlike some of the forms of D. fragrans, Comm., but differs conspicuously in the form and long petiolation of its leaves and its longer paniculate inflorescence, the rachis exceeding considerably the petiole.
” [1]

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References:

[1] An Account of the Petrological, Botanical, and Zoological Collection Made in Kerguelen’s Land and Rodriguez during the Transit of Venus Expeditions. Botany. 302-419. 1874-75

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edited: 15.05.2021

Anisopappus burundiensis Lisowski

Burundi Anisopappus (Anisopappus burundiensis)

The Burundi Anisopappus, desribed in 1989, was restricted to the Republic of Burundi, a small country in central Africa.

The species was a small, shrubby plant with yellow aster-like flowers; having not be found in recent years, the species appears to be extinct now.

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edited: 27.01.2022

Polypodium argyrolepis Sodiro

Azuay Polypody (Polypodium argyrolepis)

This fern species is known exclusively from the type material that was collected in the 19th century somewhere in the Azuay Province of Ecuador, an exact locality is not known.

The species was never found again and is presumed to be possibly extinct. 

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edited: 15.04.2019

Eugenia albida Bonpl.

White Eugenia (Eugenia albida)

The White Eugenia is apparently known from a single collection that was made some time in the 18th century somewhere in Ecuador, however this assumption might in fact not be true.

***

There appear to be several species which are named Eugenia albida, and this name is also a synonym for several species; furthermore the species discussed here is sometimes thought as being endemic to Ecuador and sometimes to occur in Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

It is mentioned here only for the sake of completness.

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edited: 18.01.2020

Euonymus atropurpureus var. cheatumii Lundell

Cheatum’s Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus var. cheatumii)

Cheatum’s Wahoo, a variety of the American Wahoo (Euonymus atropurpureus Jacq.), is known only from a single population that was restricted again to a single place in Dallas County, Texas, USA.

This single population is believed to have been destroyed by insects (which insects?) in 1944, the variety is now regarded as being extinct.

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edited: 27.01.2020

Ctenitis pallatangana (Hook.) Ching

Pallatanga Ctenitis Fern (Ctenitis pallatangana)

This species is known only one collection that was made in the 19th century in the high Andean forests somewhere near the village of Pallatanga in the Chimborazo Province of Ecuador.

The species is believed to be extinct due to habitat destruction by agricultural expansion.

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edited: 13.11.2021

Potamogeton sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Poondweed (Potamogeton sp.)

This taxon appears in lists of endemic plants that once inhabited Rapa Nui, it is known from pollen findings.

These pollen, however, appear to be at least 16600 years old, so are pre-Holocene of age; unfortunately, I have no idea how long this taxon may have survived on the island, thus it is mentioned here just for the sake of completeness.

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References:

[1] J. R. Flenley; Sarah M. King: Late Quaternary pollen records from Easter Island. Nature 307(5): 47-50. 1984
[2] Catherine Orliac: Données nouvelles sur la composition de la flore de l’île de Pâques. Journal de la Société des Océanistes  107: 135-143. 1998
[3] Anthony Dubois; Pierre Lenne; Elsa Nahoe; Marcos Rauch: Plantas de Rapa Nui. Guía Ilustrada de la Flora de Interés Ecológico y Patrimonial. Umanga mo te Natura, CONAF, ONF International, Santiago 2013

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edited: 13.11.2021

Senecio navugabensis C. Jeffrey

Navugabo Groundsel (Senecio navugabensis)

The Navugabo Groundsel was described in 1986, the species is known only from the type specimen that was collected in 1935 (according the the IUCN) or 1947 from a swampy area at Lake Navugabo in the Masaka District, southwestern Uganda.

The species was never recorded again despite it originating from a otherwise fairly-well collected area.

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edited: 26.09.2019

Wollastonia populifolia (Sherff) Orchard

Poplar-leaved Melanthera (Wollastonia populifolia)

This species was described in 1933, originally as a variety of the Subcordate Melanthera (Wollastonia subcordata (A. Gray) Orchard) from the island of Hawai’i.

The Poplar-leaved Melanthera is known only from the type material that was collected in 1918 somewhere in the Maunalei Valley on the island of Lana’i in the Hawaiian Islands, it is now considered extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Warren L Wagner; Harold Robinson: Lipocaheta and Melanthera (Asteraceae: Heliantheae subtribe Ecliptinae): establishing their natural limits and a synopsis. Brittonia 53(4): 539-561. 2001

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edited: 04.06.2021

Thelypteris thwaitesii (Hook.) C. F. Reed

Thwaites’ Maiden Fern (Thelypteris thwaitesii)

Thwaites’ Maiden Fern is endemic to the island of Sri Lanka where it is known from only three localities.

The species has not been found since the 19th century and might be extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] R. H. G. Ranil; C. R. Fraser-Jenkins; D. K. N. G. Pushpakumara; D. S. A. Wijesundara; B. S. Parris: The endemic pteridophyte flora of Sri Lanka: Taxonomy, geographical distribution and conservation status. Indian Fern Journal 33: 1-36. 2016

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edited: 21.09.2020

Oeceoclades seychellarum (Rolfe ex Summerh.) Garay & P. Taylor

Seychelles Oeceoclades Orchid (Oeceoclades seychellarum)

This species was a terrestrial or epiphytic (depending on which source) orchid, that was restricted to the island of Mahé, Seychelles Islands.

The Seychelles Oeceoclades Orchid is said to have been very similar in vegetative morphology to the closely related Malagasy Lanceated Oeceoclades Orchid (Oeceoclades lanceata (H. Perrier) Garay & P. Taylor), from which it differed, however, in some floral characteristics, especially by its proportionally shorter lip.

The species is known exclusively from the type specimen that was collected in 1902 in a region that was covered with intact mountain forest at that time, but that now is degraded by human activity and overgrown with introduced invasive plant species. 

The Seychelles Oeceoclades Orchid is thus considered extinct.

***

The species was once cultivated in the Botanical Garden of Kew, Great Britain at the beginning of the 20th century, but seems to have disappeared from there as well.

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References:

[1] Justin Gerlach: Red Listing reveals the true state of biodiversity: a comprehensive assessment of Seychelles biodiversity. Phesluma 20: 9-22. 2012

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edited: 26.11.2018

Metrosideros sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Ironwood (Metrosideros sp.)

The genus Metrosideros is known from Rapa Nui based on subfossil pollen. [1]

These pollen either came from a former indigenous population of the rather widespread Polynesian Ironwood (Metrosideros collina (J. R. Forst. & G. Forst.) A. Gray) or, given the isolated situation of Easter Island, more likely from an endemic species.

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References:

[1] J. R. Flenley; A. Sarah M. King; Joan Jackson; C. Chew: The Late Quaternary vegetational and climatic history of Easter Island. Journal of Quaternary Science 6(2): 85-115. 1991

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edited: 11.12.2018

Melicope macropus (Hillebr.) T. G. Hartley & B. C. Stone

Kaholuamanu Melicope (Melicope macropus 

The Kaholuamanu Melicope was restricted to the Kaholuamanu region of Waimea on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

The species was last recorded in 1987, 1919 and finally in 1997 and was never found since, it may be extinct. However, the region, where this species is known to have occurred, is privately owned, thus no surveys have been conducted to relacate the species, which in fact might well be still surviving. [1]

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References:

[1] Kenneth R. Wood: Survey results for eight possibly extinct plant species from Kaua’i, Hawai’i. Prepared for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FWS Agreement No. F12AC00737. 293 pp.. 2015

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edited: 03.09.2020

Phyllostegia kahiliensis H. St. John

Kahili Phyllostegia (Phyllostegia kahiliensis)

The island of Kaua’i harbors seven Phyllostegia species, of which five are endangered to critically endangered, some of these species have populations of less then 10 individuals making them very vulnerable to the slightest disturbances like grazing by cattle etc.. [2]

***

The Kahili Phyllostegia was described in 1987, the species is known from three collections (1974, 1983, and 1987) that originally were thought to be identical with Heller’s Phyllostegia (Phyllostegia helleri Sherff), but differ from that species by their retrorsely appressed pubescence.

The species had an extremely narrow geographic range, it was restricted to steep jagged ridges and precipitous side slopes just below the summit of Mt. Kahili on the island of Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands.

The Kahili Phyllostegia was declared extinct in 2014, yet there is a slight chance that it might be rediscovered someday in one of the steep ravines of Mt. Kahili. [1][2]

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References:

[1] Warren L. Wagner: Nomenclator and review of Phyllostegia (Lamiaceae). Novon 9(2): 265-279. 1999
[2] Kenneth R. Wood: Delissea rhytidosperma H. Mann (Campanulaceae) and Phyllostegia kahiliensis H. St. John (Lamiaceae) possibly extinct on Kaua’i, Hawaiian Islands. Records of the Hawaii Biological Survey for 2014. Part I: Articles. Edited by Neal L. Evenhuis & Scott E. Miller. Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 116: 31-33. 2015

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edited: 24.09.2019

Nemesia micrantha Hiern

Small-flowered Nemesia (Nemesia micrantha)

This species is known only from the type material that was collected in 1897; it was restricted to a single site that was described as pools near a fish factory at the Hout Bay on the Cape Peninsula in Western Cape, South Africa.

The species is now extinct.

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References:

[1] N. A. Helme; T. H. Trinder-Smith: The endemic flora of the cape Peninsula, South africa. South African Journal of Botany 72: 205-210. 2005

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edited: 27.04.2022

Galactia nummularia Urb.

Sint Maarten Galactia (Galactia nummularia)

This species was described in 1909, it was endemic to the island of St. Martin, where it apparently was restricted to littoral habitats at the Guana Bay in the southeastern part of the island.

The species is known from a single collection and was never found again, it is now considered extinct.

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edited: 27.01.2020

Acalypha dikuluwensis P. A. Duvign. & Dewit

Dikuluwe Copperleaf (Acalypha dikuluwensis)

The Dikuluwe Copperleaf was found growing on copper-rich soils in copper outcrops in a small area in the eastern Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The habitat was completely destroyed by surface mining.

The Dikuluwe Copperleaf was not found since 1959 and was finally officially declared extinct in 2012.

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edited: 23.01.2022

Eremogone franklinii var. thompsonii (M. Peck) R. L. Hartman & Rabeler

Thompson’s Sandwort (Eremogone franklinii var. thompsonii)

Franklin’s Sandwort (Eremogone franklinii (Douglas ex Hooker) R. L. Hartman & Rabeler) (see photo) is a quite widespread cushion-forming plant species that occurs in the western USA.

The variety discussed here, however, is known only from the type that was collected in the 1930s somewhere in Gilliam County in Oregon, USA. It may be extinct, however, it was found once in the 1980s in Benson County, Washington so may in fact be still existing.

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Franklin’s Sandwort (Eremogone franklinii), nominate race

Photo: Matt Lavin

(under creative commons license (2.0))
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0

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edited: 14.04.2019

Cryptantha hooveri I. M. Johnson

Hoover’s Cryptantha (Cryptantha hooveri)

Hoover’s Cryptantha was an annual, 5 to 20 cm tall plantlet with simple or branched stems and linear leaves that inhabited grassland communities on sandy soil.

***

Hoover’s Cryptantha was last recorded in 1939 and may be extinct, however, the species is said to be hard to identify, so there’s some hope that it may still exist but may just have been overlooked so far.

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edited: 05.12.2018

Prestonia schumanniana Woodson

Schumann’s Prestonia (Prestonia schumanniana)

Schumann’s Prestonia is known only from the type material which had been collected in 1892 near the town of Balao in the Guayas Province of western Ecuador.

The original native vegetation at the type locality is now completely destroyed and this plant is very likely extinct now.

***

The photo below shows a congeneric species, the Starfish Wine (Prestonia mollis (Kunth.)), which is apparently still quite commonly found in Ecuador.

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Starfish Wine (Prestonia mollis)

Photo: kathyliz
https://www.inaturalist.org/people/kathyliz

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/

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edited: 24.08.2022

Leptochilus wallii (Baker) C. Chr.

Wall’s Leptochilus Fern (Leptochilus wallii)

This species is endemic to the island of Sri Lanka where it is known from only a single locality.

The type locality is now destroyed and thus this species is very likely extinct. [1][2]

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References:

[1] Atsushi Ebihara; Christopher Roy Fraser-Jenkins; Barbara S. Parris; Xian-Chun Zhang; Yue-Hong Yang; Wen-Liang Chiou; Ho-Ming Chang; Stuart Lindsay; David Middleton; Masahiro Kato; Titien Ngatinem Praptosuwiryo; Victor B. Amoroso; Julie F. Barcelona; Rajapaksha Haddokara Gedara Ranil; Chan-Ho Park; Noriaki Murakami; Akihiko Hoya: Rare and Threatened Pteridophytes of Asia 1. An Enumeration of Narrowly Distributed Taxa1. Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science, Ser. B 38(3): 93–119. 2012

[2] R. H. G. Ranil; C. R. Fraser-Jenkins; D. K. N. G. Pushpakumara; D. S. A. Wijesundara; B. S. Parris: The endemic pteridophyte flora of Sri Lanka: Taxonomy, geographical distribution and conservation status. Indian Fern Journal 33: 1-36. 2016

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edited: 02.05.2022

Phylica schlechteri Pillans

Orangekloof Hardleaf (Phylica schlechteri)

Thia species was restricted to a very small area along the southwestern coast of the Western Cape Province of South Africa, where it was found growing in so-called sandstone fynbos.

The species has not been found since over 100 years and is very probably extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] N. A. Helme; T. H. Trinder-Smith: The endemic flora of the cape Peninsula, South africa. South African Journal of Botany 72: 205-210. 2005

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edited: 04.11.2020

Euphorbia boinensis Denis ex Humbert & Leandri

Ankarafantsika Spurge (Euphorbia boinensis)

The Ankarafantsika Spurge, a multi-branched, climbing plant, was restricted to a locality in northwestern Madagascar, it is known exclusively from two collections, one made in 1900, and the second one in 1920.

The locality were this species was found, are now highly degraded, it was never found since 1920 and is thought to be globally extinct. 

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edited: 18.01.2020

Mikania tafallana Kunth

Rio Daule Mikania (Mikania tafallana)

This species is known only on the basis of the type material which was collected sometimes before 1818 in the vicinity of the Río Daule near the city of Guayaquil in the Guayas Province, Ecuador.

The vegetation of the region is now highly destroyed due to urban and agricultural development, the species was never recorded since the collection of the type material and is thus probably extinct.

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edited: 25.04.2021

Thelypteris gardneri (Holtrum) Panigrahi

Gardner’s Maiden Fern (Thelypteris gardneri)

Gardner’s Maiden Fern is endemic to the island of Sri Lanka where it is known from only a single locality in the Hantane Mountain range in the Kandy District.

The species was only ever found once in the middle of the 19th century and appears to be extinct now. [1]

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References:

[1] R. H. G. Ranil; C. R. Fraser-Jenkins; D. K. N. G. Pushpakumara; D. S. A. Wijesundara; B. S. Parris: The endemic pteridophyte flora of Sri Lanka: Taxonomy, geographical distribution and conservation status. Indian Fern Journal 33: 1-36. 2016

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edited: 21.09.2020

Piper stipulosum Sodiro

Stipuled Pepper Tree (Piper stipulosum)

The Stipuled Pepper Tree is known exclusively from the type material that was collected about a century ago at the Cordillera de Angamarca at the western slopes of the andes in the Cotopaxi province of Ecuador at an elevation of about 3500 m.

The species is now considered most likely extinct.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Peperomia leucorrhachis Sodiro ex C. DC.

White-shafted Peperomia (Peperomia leucorrhachis)

The White-shafted Peperomia, described in 1920, is known only from the type collection that was made in the 19th century in the forests of the western Andean slopes in the Pichincha Province of Ecuador.

The species was never recorded since and is possibly extinct.

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edited: 03.05.2022

Astragalus endopterus (Barneby) Barneby

Sandbar Milkvetch (Astragalus endopterus)  

The Sandbar Milkvetch is known exclusively from the type material that had been collected in 1947 near Cameron in Coconino County, Arizona, USA, where the plant grew a gravelly washes and sandbars of summer-dry streams at elevations of 1110-1200 m. 

This species was never found again and is believed to be extinct.

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edited: 19.09.2019

Acalypha rubrinervis Cronk

Red-veined Copperleaf (Acalypha rubrinervis 

The Red-veined Copperleaf was endemic to the island of Saint Helena; the litte tree, which, for its beautiful red male flower spikes, which hung in great profusion from every twig, the islanders named string-tree or stringwood, was restricted to the elevated parts of the southern slopes of Diana’s Peak.

The species reached a size of about 2 m in height; its red-veined leaves were 5 to 7 cm long and 3 to 5 cm wide, the male inflorescences were about 20 cm long, the flowers were red while the female flowers were rather inconspicuous.

The last individual was found by John Charles Melliss, an amateur naturalist that lived on Saint Helena.:

The last plant I saw of it in the island was one that had been transplanted to Oakbank about twenty years ago. It grew to a small tree about eighteen inches high, and blossomed and seeded freely, but is no longer there.” [1]

This last known individual died in about 1870.

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References:  

[1] John Charles Meliss: St. Helena: A Physical, Historical, and Topographical Description of the Island, including its Geology, Fauna, Flora, and Meteorology. London: L. Reeve & Co. 1875

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Depiction from: ‘John Charles Meliss: St. Helena: A Physical, Historical, and Topographical Description of the Island, including its Geology, Fauna, Flora, and Meteorology. London: L. Reeve & Co. 1875’ 

(public domain)

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edited: 05.11.2020

Vepris bali Cheek

Bali Ngemba Vepris (Vepris bali)

The Bali Ngemba Vepris was just described in 2018, it is known from a specimen that had been collected in 1951 in the Bali Ngemba Forest Reserve, a remnant of submontane cloud forest on the Bamenda Highlands in Cameroon.

The species was not found despite targeted searches by botanists and is believed to be already extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] M. Cheek; G. Gosline; J.-M. Onana: Vepris bali (Rutaceae), a new critically endangered (possibly extinct) cloud forest tree species from Bali Ngemba, Cameroon. Willdenowia. 48(2): 285 – 292. 2018

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edited: 04.10.2020

Aglaia fragilis A. C. Sm.

Fragile Aglaia (Aglaia fragilis 

The Fragile Aglaia was described in 1942, it is known exclusively from the type material that had been collected one year prior to its description allegedly near the summit of Mt. Nanggaranambuluta, which probably is today’s Mt. Lomalangi in the Nadarivatu region in the northern part of Viti Levu, Fiji. [1]

The species was never found since and is considered extinct. 

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Referenzen:  

[1] Albert C. Smith: Flora Vitiensis Nova: A new flora of Fiji (Spermatophytes only). Vol. 3. Lawai, Kauai, Hawaii 1985

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edited: 04.09.2019

Calyptranthes arenicola Urb.

El Morrillo Myrtle (Calyptranthes arenicola 

This species is known only from a small region near Playa El Morrillo in the Pinar del Río Province on the northwestern coast of Cuba.

The species’ name appears in listings of extinct species, thus it is mentioned here as well, unfortunately I could not find out any further information so far.

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edited: 02.11.2020

Justicia capitata (T. Anders. ex Hook. f.) Cramer

Flower-head Justicia (Justicia capitata)

The Flower-head Justicia was found growing in wet, evergreen forest in the Ratnapura District of Sri Lanka.

It reached a height of about 1 m, it had oval-oblong to oval-elliptic, 15,5 cm long and 5 cm wide leaves, the flowers were white.

The species is now considered possibly extinct.

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edited: 22.04.2022

Hedyotis cinereoviridis Thwaites

Grey-green Hedyotis (Hedyotis cinereoviridis)

The Grey-green Hedyotis was described in 1864; it is endemic to Sri Lanka.

The species’ name appears in lists of extinct plant species, thus I will mention it here briefly; unfortunately I have no further information about it.

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edited: 28.04.2022

Viola cryana Gillot

Cry Violet (Viola cryana)

The Cry Violet, described in 1878, was endemic to strongly restricted limestone outcrops in the region of Cry, a commune in the Department Yonne in northern central France.

The species disappeared because of limestone quarrying and finally due to overexploitation by plant collectors. It was extinct in the wild by 1930 and survived in cultivation – but only for some 30 years longer; the Cry Violet is now extinct. 

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Photo: Unknown; MNHN  
http://www.mnhn.fr    

(uncer creative commons license (4.0))  
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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edited: 04.10.2020

Desmarestia tropica W. R. Taylor

Tropical Acidweed (Desmarestia tropica)

The Tropical Acidweed was endemic to the Galápagos archipelago, where, however, it was only ever found at two localities off Isla Floreana and off Isla Isabela, it was discovered in 1935 and described in 1945.

The species disappeared together with everal other marine algae species after a devastating El Niño event in 1982/83 and is now considered most likely extinct.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Vernonella africana Sond.

African Vernonella (Vernonella africana)

The African Vernonella inhabited a quite small area of coastal grassland along the eastern coast of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa which tioday is almost entirely transformed by agriculture and urban development.

This species was last found in 1895 and is now considered extinct.

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edited: 02.10.2020

Dianella sp. ‘Rapa Nui’

Rapa Nui Flax Lilly (Dianella sp.)

This taxon is known from macro-and microfossils that were found in core samples collected in the crater of the Rano Raraku on Rapa Nui, which can be dated to an age of about 9400 to 5400 BCE, which means, that they apparently disappeared prior to the first Polynesian settlement. [1]

The taxon may have been the widespread Polynesian Flax Lilly (Dianella adenanthera (G. Forst.) R. J. F. Hend.) (see photo below) or an endemic species.

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References:

[1] N. Canellas-Bolta; V. Rull; A. Saez; M. Prebble; O. Margalef: First records and potential palaeoecological significance of Dianella (Xanthorrhoeaceae), an extinct representative of the native flora of Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Vegetation History and archaeobotany 23(3): 331-338. 2014

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Photo: Peter de Lange 
http://www.inaturalist.org/people/pjd1

(public domain)

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edited: 11.12.2018

Polyscias sechellarum var. contracta F. Friedmann

Bois Banane (Polyscias sechellarum var. contracta)

The Bois Banane (Polyscias sechellarum Baker) is endemic to the Seychelles Islands, where it occurs or occurred on the islands of Curieuse, Félicite, La Digue, Mahé, Praslin, and Silhouette.

The species is split into at least three varieties of which the one discussed here apparently was restricted tot he island of Mahé, from which, however, it was not recorded in recent surveys, it is thus considered most likely extinct. 

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edited: 26.11.2018

Streblorrhiza speciosa Endl.

Phillip Island Glory Pea (Streblorrhiza speciosa)

The Phillip Island Glory Pea, aka. Flesh-colored Glory Pea, was endemic to Phillip Island in the Norfolk Islands; it is the sole member of its monotypic genus.

The species died out in the wild around 1830 due to introduced ungulates, however, it was kept in several botanical gardens for some time, however, all these cultivated plants seem to have subsequently disappeared as well.

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Depiction from: ‘Edward’s Botanical Register 27. 1841’

(public domain) 

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edited: 25.05.2021

Monardella pringlei A. Gray

Pringle’s Monardella (Monardella pringlei)  

Pringle’s Monardella apparently was restricted to a small area of sandy hills near the city of Colton in San Bernardino County in California, USA.

The locality is now mostly destroyed by urbanization, the species was last seen in 1941 and is now considered most likely extinct.

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Depiction from: ‘Le Roy Abrams: An illustrated flora of the Pacific States: Washington, Oregon, and California. Stanford University, Stanford University Press 1923-60’  

(no known copyright restrictions) 

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edited: 20.09.2020

Bifurcaria galapagensis (Piccone & Grunow) Womersley

Galapagos Sargasso Grass (Bifurcaria galapagensis)

This alga species was once one of the most common species growing in the lower intertidal and shallow subtidal habitats on the Galápagos Islands, but disappeared after a devastating El Niño event in 1982/83.

The species is now considered extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Arundinella kerrii Teerawat. & Sungkaew

Kerr’s Arundinella Grass (Arundinella kerrii)

Kerr’s Arundinella Grass was described in 2011; it is known only from material that was collected in 1924 in the Nakhon Phanom Province of northeastern Thailand, where it was found growing in open grassland at elevations of about 200 m.

The species was not found since despite attempts to recollect it at its type locality. [1]

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References:

[1] Atchara Teerawatananon; Sarawood Sungkaew; Trevor R. Hodkinson: Arundinella kerrii and Dimeria kerrii, Two New Endemic Species from Thailand (Poaceae, Panicoideae). Novon 21(1): 149-153. 2011

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edited: 16.05.2022

Hieracium purkynei Čelak.

Purkyn’s Hawkweed (Hieracium purkynei)  

Purkyn’s Hawkweed is one of about 23 endemic plant species that are restricted to the Krkonoše Mountains, a mountain range located in the north of the Czech Republic and the southwest of Poland; this species occurred only at the Czech side of the border.

The species was a member of the Eginenthal Hawkweed aggregate (Hieracium gombense Lagg. ex Christen. agg.) (see photo).

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References:

[1] Milan Chytrý; Jiří Danihelka; Zdeněk Kaplan; Petr Pyšek: Flora and Vegetation of the Czech Republic. Springer 2017

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Eginenthal Hawkweed (Hieracium gombense Lagg. ex Christen.); plant on the right side

Depiction from: ‘Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach; Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach: Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae. Lipsiae: F. Hofmeister 1834-1912’

(not in copyright)

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edited: 02.10.2020

Diplacus traskiae (A. L. Grant) G. L. Nesom

Santa Catalina Monkeyflower (Diplacus traskiae)

The Santa Catalina Monkeyflower is apparently known exclusively from the type material that was collected in 1901 or 1904 (depending on the source); the species was restricted to Santa Catalina Island in the Channel Islands group offshore the Pacific coast of California, USA.

The species presumably disappeared due to grazing by introduced ungulates and is now considered extinct.

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edited: 25.04.2021

Piper angamarcanum C. DC.

Angamarca Pepper Tree (Piper angamarcanum)

The Angamarca Pepper Tree was endemic to the province of Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador, where it was restricted to the Páramo vegetation at elevations of 3000 to 3500 m.

The species is apparently known only from material that was collected in 1905 (or 1912 depending on which source).

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edited: 27.11.2018 

Phyllostegia hillebrandii H. Mann ex Hillebr.

Hillebrand’s Phyllostegia (Phyllostegia hillebrandii)

Hillebrand’s Phyllostegia was described in 1888, it is known from two collections from eastern Maui, Hawaiian Islands; one from Kula in the center -, and the other one from ‘Ulupalakua near the southern shore of the island.

The species is now extinct. [1]

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References:

[1] Warren L. Wagner: Nomenclator and review of Phyllostegia (Lamiaceae). Novon 9(2): 265-279. 1999

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edited: 24.09.2019

Spatoglossum schmittii W. R. Taylor

Schmitt’s Brown Alga (Spatoglossum schmittii)

Schmitt’s Brown Alga was endemic to the waters surrounding the Galápagos Islands, where in former times it was quite common.

The species disappeared following a devastating El Niño in 1982/83 and is now considered most likely extinct.

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References:

[1] Graham J. Edgar; Stuart A. Banks; Margarita Brandt; Rodrigo H. Bustamantes; Angel Chiriboga; Lauren E. Garske; Peter W. Glynn; Jack S. Grove; Scott Henderson; Cleve P. Hickman; Kathy A. Miller; Fernando Rivera; Gerald M. Wellington: El Niño, grazers and fisheries interact to greatly elevate extinction risk for Galapagos marine species. Global Change Biology 16: 2876-2890. 2010

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edited: 29.11.2018

Piper baezanum C. DC.

Baeza Pepper Treelet (Piper baezanum)

Baeza Pepper Treelet was described in 1920, it is apparently known only from the type material that was collected almost a century ago.

The species was restricted to a small region somewhere near the city of Baeza in the Napo Province of Ecuador, where it was found in mountain forests at elevations between 500 and 1000 m.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Hypoestes inconspicua Balf. f.

Inconspicuous Hypoestes (Hypoestes inconspicua)  

The Inconspicuous Hypoestes was described in 1877, it was endemic to the island of Rodrigues, Mascarene Islands.

The plant had a trailing habit with very small, indeed inconspicuous leaves.

The Inconspicuous Hypoestes is now considered extinct.

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edited: 03.11.2020

Cuscuta warneri Yunck.

Warner’s Dodder (Cuscuta warneri)

Warner’s Dodder was described in 1960, it is known only from the type locality near the city of Filmore in Millard County in Utah, USA.

The species was apparently not found recently, despite careful searches at the type locality and is probably extinct.

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edited: 13.11.2021

Phyllostegia glabra var. lanaiensis Sherff

Lanai Phyllostegia (Phyllostegia glabra var. lanaiensis)

The Lanai Phyllostegia was described in 1934 based on material that had been collected in 1914, it was restricted to the Kaiholena Gulch on Lana’ihale, the highest point on the island of Lana’i, Hawaiian Islands.

The plant is thought to have been seen sometimes in the 1980s, however, it is thought that this might rather have been the nominate form. [1]

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References:

[1] Warren L. Wagner: Nomenclator and review of Phyllostegia (Lamiaceae). Novon 9(2): 265-279. 1999

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edited: 24.09.2019

Erigeron adscendens Turcz.

Napo Fleabane (Erigeron adscendens)

The Napo Fleabane was described in 1851, the species was only ever found once, growing in wet wasteland at an elevation of 4000 to 4500 m somewhere at the foothills of the Antisana volcano in the Napo Province of Ecuador.

The species was never found since and might well be extinct.

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edited: 09.09.2019

Piper trachyphyllum C. DC.

Rough-leaved Pepper Tree (Piper trachyphyllum)

This species was restricted to the mountain forests of the western slopes oft he Andes in the Chimborazo Province of ecuador, where it was found at elevations of 1600 to 2000 m.

The species is known only from material that was collected about a century ago and may well be already extinct.

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edited: 27.11.2018

Cotylelobium lewisianum (Trim. ex Hook. f.) P. S. Ashton

Lewis’ Namendora Tree (Cotylelobium lewisianum)

Lewis’ Namendora Tree is, or maybe was, endemic to the island of Sri Lanka, where it was restricted to rocky ridges in highland evergreen forests.

The species was not found in the extensive forest surveys conducted for the National Conservation Review and might well be extinct.

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edited: 01.11.2020

Phyllostegia variabilis Bitter

Coastal Phyllostegia (Phyllostegia variabilis)

The Coastal Phyllostegia or Variable Phyllostegia was described in 1900, the species was originally discovered on the island of Laysan but was subsequently also found on the Kure- and Midway atolls in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Hugo H. Schauinsland wrote the first notes about this species, that he discovered in 1896.:

Phyllostegia variabilis Bitter nov. sp. Here and there on the E and W side near the beach. The numerous small flowers appear first during winter, beginning in November. It is a herbaceous plant, with few unbranched runners which I found to be 3/4 to 1 m long.” [2]

***

… In 1896 it was scattered near the beach of the west and east sides (Schauinsland, 1899: 97). It was still present in small patches in 1903, mostly on the windward side (Christophersen and Caum, 1931: 11). it disappeared from Laysan before 1911.” [1]

The species is now completely extinct.

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References:

[1] Charles A. Ely; Roger B. Clapp: The natural history of Laysan Island, northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 171. 1973
[2] Hugo H. Schauinsland: Three months on a coral island (Laysan); translated by Miklos D. F. Udvardy. Atoll Research Bulletin 432. 1996

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edited: 19.10.2020

Eremogone ferruginea (Duthie ex Williams) Rabeler & W. L. Wagner

Rusty Sandwort (Eremogone ferruginea)

The Rusty Sandwort (originally described as Arenaria ferruginea Duthie ex F. N. Williams [1]) was restricted to the valleys of the rivers Dhauli and Kali in the Kumaon Division of Uttarakhand, India, it is known exclusively from material that had been collected in 1886 and is most likely extinct.

The species probably disappeared due to heavy grazing by feral ungulates.

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References:

[1] Richard K. Rabeler; Warren L. Wagner: Eremogone (Caryophyllaceae): new combinations for Old World species. PhytoKeys 50: 35-42. 2015

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edited: 14.04.2019

Helianthus praetermissus E. Watson

Lost Sunflower (Helianthus praetermissus)  

The Lost Sunflower is an enigmatic species only known from a single specimen that was collected in 1851 in Cibola County in western New Mexico, USA.

The species was superficially quite similar to the Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), from which it differed by its rather narrow linear leaves; it was annual, reached a size of about 90 cm and had a single large flower with yellow florets.

***

The Lost Sunflower may be an extinct species, however, there is the possibility that it might turn out to be identical with the Pecos Sunflower (Helianthus paradoxus Heiser), itself an endangered species. 

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edited: 06.09.2020