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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - April 09, 2006

From: Newton, MA
Region: Northeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Preserving endangered plants in Massachusetts
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I've recently visited the national registry of threatened or endangered plants for my Massachusetts home, with a hope of : 1. Identifying rare, threatened or endangered species in my state. 2. finding a source of seed, corm, bulb, etc. that will allow me to help keep them going from my house. Unfortunately, there was no indication of where I could buy plants on the list. Do you know of anyone or any site that sells these? -If not, here's a great opportunity! Thank you.

ANSWER:

How wonderful that you've taken an interest in preserving endangered plants!

The US Endangered Species Act of 1973 relegates specific legislation on endangered plants to state governments, and the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act "prohibits the taking, possession, transport, export, processing, sale or purchase of such species and any other species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act." So it's probably not possible to purchase the plants.

People interested in preserving and perhaps propagating rare plants to ensure their survival would likely be found through regional native plant societies and nearby chapters of the Wild Ones. It's possible they would know of legal exceptions to some of the restrictions on possession.

Good luck and thank you for your interest!
 

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