In the last 250 years, almost 600 species of plants have become extinct on the planet. It is an alarming figure, which unfortunately points in our direction when looking for culprits. Human beings seem to be responsible for the enormous number of botanical extinctions in recent decades, usually due to actions such as massive logging, deforestation, the appropriation of land for agriculture or livestock activities. A good part of these species have become extinct on islands and tropical areas or those with a Mediterranean climate, as is the case of Juan Fernández’s sandalwood, in Chile. When it comes to extinctions, practically everyone thinks of animals, but plants have suffered and also suffer losses that deserve the same respect.
In this AgroCorrn article we are going to see 20 extinct plants , some that have only recently left us and others that are extinct and prehistoric botanical species.
- Sandalwood by Juan Fernández
- Araucaria mirabilis
- Olivo de Santa Elena o Nesiota
- Sophora toromiro
- Palm of Rapa Nui
- Franklin Tree
- Wooden Cycad
- Lysimachia minoricensis
- Euphorbia Mayurnathanii
- Aeonium mascaense
- Normandy Nava
- Acacia prismifolia
- Arched armory
- Plants in danger of extinction
Sandalwood by Juan Fernández
The Santalum fernandezianum was a redwood tree native to the Juan Fernández archipelago, on the Chilean coast. Its wood was highly valued for its characteristic and pleasant aroma, but from 1918 on, specimens of this tree could no longer be found.
These land plants could be found 425 million years ago , in what are now the areas of Great Britain, the USA, Bolivia and Australia, among others. They were of small and thin stems, without leaves or roots and, at the moment, the method of fixation they used is still unknown.
In this image you can see a fossil of a cookconia plant and in the cover photo of this article you can also see it.
This plant is also called Scale tree or Scale tree . It could reach more than 30 meters in height . It is known that they reproduced by spores, and that they had a soft trunk covered with a hard layer of bark. Its life expectancy is estimated around 15 years, and its extinction dates to the end of the Mesozoic era.
These trees are a genus of Carboniferous Equisetophyta . The calamites had hollow stems , were medium in size and reproduced by spores. Its fossils have been found in sedimentary rock remains, mainly coal.
The extinction of this plant native to Libya dates back to the 1st century BC . Ancient cultures such as those of the Egyptians, Romans and Greeks used the Silphium plant as a contraceptive, as a birth control, and to treat pain, that is, as an analgesic.
A violent volcanic eruption was what wiped out this species about 160 million years ago. It was a plant over 100 meters high, which lived in Argentine Patagonia. In this image you can see fossils of the Araucaria mirabilis plant .
Olivo de Santa Elena o Nesiota
This other species called Olivo de Santa Elena or Nesiota was declared extinct much more recently. Specifically, this botanical species became extinct in the wild in 1994 , although it was bred in captivity until 2003. It was endemic to the islands of Ascensión, Tristán de Acuña and Santa Helena.
The Sophora toromiro plant was typical of Easter Island and became extinct because in the 19th century it suffered serious deforestation at the hands of humans. For some time there have been projects that seek to recover it, although currently, for the moment, there are no positive results.
Palm of Rapa Nui
The palm tree known as the Rapa Nui palm and with the scientific name Paschalococos disperta , was a species of great height, also from Easter Island and became extinct in 1650 because of the great exploitation it suffered, both for its wood and for food.
Another extinct plant is the Franklinia alatamaha or Franklin’s tree . This extinct botanical species was native to the Georgia area, was discovered in 1765 and declared extinct only 75 years later.
We continue with this list of +20 species of extinct plants and we stop at another type of palm tree. The last specimen of the Cycad de Madera plant died at the Botanical Institute of the Government of Pretoria in 1964, although it had already been declared extinct in the wild since 1916 .
Although captive cultures of this endemic plant on the island of Menorca , in Spain, are still preserved , the Lysimachia minoricensis is an extinct plant in nature due to the great loss of its habitat.
This plant was declared extinct in the wild , it was endemic to India and, luckily, Euphorbia Mayurnathanii has been successfully cultivated in captivity.
This plant, which shared time with the Cretaceous dinosaurs 125 million years ago , was a herbaceous aquatic plant whose fossils have been found in China. The Archaefructus plant species are believed to be the earliest genus of flowering plants.
Several fossils of the extinct plant Cladophlebis have been found and, thanks to them, it was discovered that they are relatives of ferns and that they inhabited the planet during prehistory, specifically in the Mesozoic and Paleozoic periods .
They inhabited the Earth about 300 million years ago , during the Carboniferous period. The plants Sigilarias had a similar appearance to trees with a trunk flexible and probably green part.
The extinct plant known as Aeonium mascaense is a crassulaceous native to the Canary Islands, specifically the island of Tenerife, and was recently declared extinct in the wild.
This semi-shrub was typical of Tenerife and was last detected in the wild in 1984. Therefore, since then it has been considered that the Normania nava is one of the extinct plants of the last decades.
The Acacia prismifolia was a shrub native to Western Australia, the last wild specimen was recorded in 1933 and came to be considered an extinct plant.
The Armeria Arcuate is an extinct plant that was owned by the family Leadwort . Also, this was an endemic plant to Portugal and had small, pink flowers.
Plants in danger of extinction
After seeing some of the extinct plants, we show you some species of plants in danger of extinction :
- Araucariceas Maple.
- Welwitschia Mirabilis.
- Aristoloquiceas Asclepiadceas.
- Anacardiceas Apocinceas.
- Sonowdonia Hawkweed.
Learn about more species in this situation in this other AgroCorrn article on Plants in danger of extinction and their causes .
If you want to read more articles similar to 20 extinct plants , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .
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