Eelgrass - Zostera marina
Once prevalent along New York City's shores, eelgrass has three-foot-long leaves that stretch and coil with the tides. A single population survived in Queens as late as 1987, but it eventually succumbed to pollution caused by commercial development around Little Neck Bay.
Hairy Lip Fern - Cheilanthes lanosa
This fern, with its dense coat of reddish hairs, was well named. It used to thrive in the clefts and nooks of rocky outcrops in Upper Manhattan, but was last seen in 1866. It is thought that the habitat destruction and air pollution were its downfall.
Rose Pink - Sabatia angularis
Because it hadn't been seen in decades, the rose pink was thought to no longer grow in New York City. But 11 years ago it was rediscovered in a Staten Island roadside meadow -- a sign that where welcoming habitat remains, lost plants may return.
Round-Leaved Sundew - Drosera rotundifolia
With leaves rimmed by sticky glandular hairs that capture and eat unsuspecting insects, this plant last grew in the bogs of coastal Brooklyn in 1952. The bogs were drained and filled, and the sundew disappeared.
Swamp Pink - Helonias bullata
In early spring, the lightly fragrant, tiny pink flowers of this member of the lily family open with blue-tipped anthers peeking out. First documented in 1882, swamp pink grew in a red maple-sweetgum swamp on Staten Island. This species has never been seen anywhere else in New York City, and is now threatened throughout the United States.
Trailing Arbutus - Epigaea repens
This wildflower sports thumb-sized evergreen leaves and blooms that are white, then turn pink with age. It was last found near the eponymous Arbutus Lake on Staten Island in the 1940s. The oak woodland it inhabited remains, but the plant does not.
White Milkweed - Asclepias variegata
In summer the white milkweed bears a ball of waxy white flowers. In 1909, it was already in decline on the dry slopes of its sparse woodland habitat on Staten Island.