New York City native plants include mosses, ferns, grasses, sedges and rushes, wildflowers, trees, shrubs and woody vines. Over thousands of years, this flora has adapted to the climate, soils and environmental conditions of the five boroughs. This site-specific evolution is reflected in their genetic makeup. Sculpted by nature, the plants found here have become perfectly suited to New York City living. They are an integral part of our ecosystems, and the building blocks of our local biodiversity.
See the botanical bounty...and keep scrolling to find out how you can help
Take a walk.
Head outdoors with a field guide and a friend to learn about the botanical jewels in your neck of the woods. Preservation comes to those places that are loved by people. Suggestions for plant places and field guides.
Be civically active.
Development is the #1 cause of native plant destruction - even in parks. Make note of open space slated for a strip mall or housing complex or baseball field. Attend community board meetings. Voice your dissent.
Removing native plants from the wild depletes natural populations. Never pick, pull, cut or otherwise harm plants from parks or other open spaces. Take photos instead.
What can you do to help
New York City's native plants?
New York City has already lost nearly 40% of its native plants, due to development and other destructive human activities. If people are part of the problem, we can also be the solution. Join us to help save the ones that are left. Here's how:
Legal protection for plants.
New York City + New York State have no laws safeguarding native flora or legal protections for rare plants. And most of the money for the Federal Endangered Species Act goes towards animal protection. Let your legislators know that your flora should have rights. Flower power!
Let's Work Together
NYC Wildflower Week is an open, collaborative effort that celebrates the work being done in support of wildflowers and nature. Want to get involved? Contact us in the form below.