The C&O Canal is home to many different types of plant species, including some that are rare, threatened, or endangered. These plant species are either state or federally protected due to habitat loss and invasion of non-native plants. Park records include more than 150 rare plant species listed in both Maryland and Washington, D.C. Several species are globally rare and occur here because they are dependent upon special habitats and ecological conditions present along the Potomac River.
Listed below are some of the rare plant species that the C&O Canal is actively trying to protect and preserve. To help protect these native and sensitive plant species, be sure to stay on marked trails, and do not pick flowers or remove any vegetation from the park.