Department of Environmental Conservation

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Plants

New York State's many habitats, both on land and water, shelter rich and diverse plant life. From the beloved sugar maple to the common milkweed, both humans and wildlife depend on the wide variety of native plants that are found throughout the state.

Those interested in helping to maintain the state's diverse plant populations may be interested in DEC's Saratoga Tree Nursery, which sells and donates tree and shrub seedlings to the public.

However, native plants and their habitats are constantly threatened by invasive plants that have the ability to outcompete our native plants for space and resources. Some of these invasives even pose a danger to human health, such as giant hogweed and wild parsnip. Learning how to identify invasive plants is the first step in protecting New York's diverse environments.

On this page you will find links to information on:

  • Protected native plants of New York State
  • Endangered native plant species
  • DEC's Saratoga Tree Nursery
  • Invasive plant species found in New York, both aquatic and terrestrial
  • Aquatic plant management
Watch a clip about the Saratoga Tree Nursery and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

More about Plants:

  • Harmful Plants - List of harmful plants to avoid
  • Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery - What can the State Tree Nursery offer you? - spring seedling sales, detailed descriptions of species available, how to plant and care for trees and innovative conservation efforts currently underway.
  • American Ginseng - Regulations and conservation practices for American ginseng in New York State.
  • State Protected Plants - The Protected Native plants program was created in 1989 with the adoption of the protected native plants regulation to conserve our State's native biodiversity.
  • Big Tree Register - Maintained by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as an effort to recognize trees of record size and promote an interest in their care and preservation.
  • Didymo (Rock Snot) - Didymo is a non-native invasive microscopic algae (diatom) that can produce large amounts of stalk material to form thick brown mats on stream bottoms. It can have adverse impacts on fish populations. Didymo is primarilly spread by anglers and other water based recreationalists.
  • Hydrilla - Invasive aquatic plant that takes over water bodies.
  • Slender False Brome - Brachypodium is a terrestrial invasive grass that poses a threat to the biodiversity of New York's meadows, forests, and riparian areas. Learn how to identify this lesser known invasive species and how you can help prevent its spread.
  • Starry Stonewort - Starry stonewort is an aquatic invasive algae first discovered in the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1978. Since that time it has spread to inland lakes in New York State. Up-to-date information about its current location, how to identify and report it, its potential impacts, and methods for control are discussed.
  • Water Chestnut - Water chestnut was first introduced to New York in the mid-1800's. Since then it has spread to most counties in New York. The majority of infestations reported are in or near the Hudson River. Information about how to identify and report it, prevention methods, and control are provided.