Brief history
of taxonomy
Five Kingdom System
Non-Seed Plants
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NYS Rare Plants


This is a checklist of many of the plants that grow in New York State — according to Chuck. Thus, it is not comprehensive, nor is it authoritative. For a comprehensive and authoritative NYS checklist, see NY Flora Atlas. I compiled the database in 1999 from various classification schemes, of which all are under constant revision. The flowering plant classification scheme is from Cronquist, 1988. The suprageneric ranks of non-flowering plants are from the Whittaker classification system; ferns and their allies are from Croft; gymnosperms from Earle

Sixteen years since Cronquist, mostly due to advances in molecular techniques, many revisions to the Cronquist plant taxonomic system have taken place. So I will soon begin a companion site based on the APG scheme that will show taxonomic relationships of the same plants, but in a scheme that will more realistically reflect the more recent morphological and molecular findings.  

Of the roughly 3,000 persistent species of vascular plants growing in NYS, about 2,000 are native. The remaining 1000 have come from abroad and by various means have become naturalized in the wild. Of the roughly 570 species growing in the Adirondack upland region, as described by Kudish, some 460 are native, the remaining naturalized. In addition to wild species that grow in NYS, I have included in the database selected  non-native (pink color-coded) landscape plants cultivated for their aesthetic value in our gardens, yards, parks, and streets here in New York State. I have also included selected (brown color-coded) familiar non-native plants which serve to show representatives of taxa not represented by NYS plants, and to show their relatedness to their NYS relatives.


Blue Background

Grows wild in New York State, but
not in the Adirondack upland region.

An asterisk (*) indicates the plant
is naturalized (not native to NYS).

Green Background

Grows wild in the
Adirondack upland region.

An asterisk (*) indicates the plant
is naturalized (not native to NYS).

White Background

Grows wild in the
Adirondack alpine region,
and found above 4000
feet in elevation)

Pink Background

Cultivated as an ornamental plant
in NYS; usually non-native.

Brown Background

The plant does not grow in NYS.
Selected familiar plants are included in the
database either to show representatives of
taxa not represented by NYS plants, or to
show their relatedness to their NYS relatives.


Eupatorium perfoliatum

BONESET - New York State native, but not growing in the Adirondack upland region.

Eupatorium maculatum

JOE PYE WEED - New York State native, and growing in the Adirondack upland region.

Solidago cutleri

only in high-altitude, arctic-alpine regions.

*Arctium lappa

BURDOCK - Introduced from Europe,
and has spread to become naturalized.

Centaurea cineraria

DUSTY MILLER - A commonly planted perennial in NYS; native to Europe.

Wollemia nobilis

WOLLEMI PINE - Illustrative of the ARAUCARIACEAE family not represented in NYS.

All plants in the database with a blue background, whether native or non-native, grow in the wild in at least one locality within New York State, but do not grow within the light green Adirondack upland region or white arctic-alpine region.

All plants in the database with a light green background, whether native or non-native, grow in the wild in the Adirondack upland region, as described by Kudish. Plants with a white background grow in the wild in the arctic-alpine region, as described by Kudish. Plants growing in either of these two regions may grow in the wild outside these regions (as they almost always do.)

Kudish defines the Adirondack upland region (above map) as a 2827 square-mile region within a 30-mile radius circle centered at the Cubley Library on the Paul Smith's College campus in the hamlet of Paul Smiths, NY. The region has a lower elevational limit of 1000 feet, and an upper elevational limit of 4000 feet. Kudish characterizes the flora of this region as distinct, and quite uniform throughout.

The arctic-alpine region, as defined by Kudish, is the area comprising the Adirondack high peaks generally above 4000 feet in elevation. Plants growing in this region are tundra species: remnants from the last glaciation.


The floral formula represents 7 common distinguishing features of a plant family's flowers. The top two floral features describe the flower's symmetry and sex. Under these, described in order are the calyx, corolla, androecium, and gynoecium. If these features are not underlined, the flower is hypogynous (ovary superior), unless noted as perigynous. If these features are underlined, the flower is implied as epigynous (ovary inferior), and the gynoecium is described below the line. In some cases, especially in the subclass Asteridae, where the androecium is epipetalous (stamens positioned on the corolla), the floral features are over lined, with the androecium described above the line. The bottom line of the floral formula names the fruit type(s). Aggregate fruits are specified; simple fruits are implied. See these excellent reviews (part 1) and (part 2) of basic parts of a flower, and this review of floral formulas. (I will soon simplify the floral formulas by using gifs instead of ASCII characters.)


(1) Symmetry
a = actinomorphic
z = zygomorphic
i = irregular

(2) Sex
pf = perfect
mo = monoecious
di = dioecious
po = polygamous
(3) Calyx
x = sepals are distinct
(x) = sepals are fused
(x = sepals are basally fused
x) = sepals are apically fused
-x- = tepals
# = many
(4) Corolla
x = petals are distinct
(x) = petals are fused
(x = petals are basally fused
x) = petals are apically fused
# = many
(5) Androecium
x = stamens are distinct
(x) = stamens are fused
(x = stamens are basally fused
x) = stamens are apically fused
# = many
* = staminode(s)
(6) Gynoecium
x = pistils are distinct
(x) = pistils are fused
(x = pistils are basally fused
x) = pistils are apically fused
# = many
(7) Fruit type
Aggr = aggregate fruit
(simple is implied)
ach = achene
bac = baccate
ber = berry
cap = capsule
dru = drupe
fol = folicle
hypan = hypanthium
nutl = nutlet
pyx = pyxis
sam = samara
silc = silicle
silq = silique
scz = schizocarp
syn = syncarp
utr = utricle

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