Point Reyes National Seashore hosts over 900 species of flowering plants, representing approximately 16% of the plant species known to occur in California. This diverse flora includes 48 rare plant species.
Successful management of rare species requires comprehensive information describing their abundance and distribution. Prior to 2001, this information was unknown or incomplete for many rare species within Point Reyes. In August of 2001, the California Native Plant Society published the sixth edition of their Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of California, and with it, a number of new species were added to the Seashore’s rare plant list. Around the same time, the park acquired a number of new land parcels that required detailed floristic surveys. In addition, nearly 20 years had passed since the last systematic rare plant survey (although California Native Plant Society volunteers had identified 146 new locations of rare plants over 18 years). Recognizing the need for a comprehensive survey, resource staff initiated the search for undocumented rare plant populations within the Seashore in 2001.