Even without the underground marvels found inside Mammoth Cave, the diversity of surface plant life alone would merit the protection of the National Park Service. Within our 52,830 acres, over 1,300 species of plants have been identified. This diversity can be attributed to the many microclimates found within the park:

  • Cold air pooling at cave entrances lends itself to plants that would not normally survive in an otherwise hot and humid climate
  • Sinkholes and sinking springs allow for water loving plants to thrive
  • Drought tolerant species occupy the dry ridge tops and south facing slopes

Past botanical surveys have highlighted that, of these species, 25 are listed as Endangered, Threatened, or of Special Concern by Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission.

Explore the pages below to learn a little bit about the plants you will find while at Mammoth Cave and be sure to make time for a hike or two on the surface during your stay.


Discover Plants


Last updated: October 28, 2021

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007


270 758-2180

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