Flora Finders

A citizen science rare plant monitoring program

January 2020 - August 31, 2022

This project trains citizen scientists to search for and identify 10 rare plants that have not been seen in decades. The first step towards conserving Arizona’s rare plants is knowing where they occur, how they are faring, and what threatens them. This project will assist the U.S. Forest Service (Coconino National Forest) by getting more people in the field searching for and observing rare plants. To date, we have trained 26 volunteers who have already found 5 of the 10 rare species including one species that was thought to be extirpated in Arizona. Our volunteers have found 14 localities of 5 rare species for a total of 57 individual plants and reported 9 negative finds for 4 rare plant species. The species that we chose to look for were ones that were locally rare in Arizona, although they may be globally common, and that hadn’t been relocated in decades. The species were thought to be extirpated or were classified as critically imperiled or imperiled in Arizona.

If you would like to volunteer for this project, please contact Kirstin Phillips at kphillips@musnaz.org.

This project is funded through the University of Arizona with funds provided by the Arizona Department of Agriculture under the Research on Threatened and Endangered Plants Memorandum of Understanding developed to allocate United States Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered Species Act (Section 6) funding for plants in Arizona.

The species are:



Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum)
Utah Bladder Fern (Cystopteris utahensis)
Ebony Spleenwort (Asplenium platyneuron)
Dane's Dwarf Gentian (Gentianella tenella)
Graceful Buttercup (Ranunculus inamoenus var. subaffinis)
Whiplash Saxifrage (Saxifraga flagellaris)
Scalloped Moonwort (Botrychium crenulatum)
Common Moonwort (Botrychium lunaria)
Perennial Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis barbellata)
Tufted Alpine Saxifrage (Saxifraga cespitosa)