Not cute and furry, still in danger

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Endangered animals capture the public imagination to such an extent that their mute botanical counterparts, endangered plants, are often forgotten. But the figures for imperiled flora are dire: As many as 30,000 to 60,000 varieties of plant life are in imminent danger of extinction. Author and illustrator Dugald Stermer documents a selection of these plants in his new book Vanishing Flora (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.).

The Texas poppy-mallow, with its large petals and wine-red color, blooms for only a week on a narrow strip of land along the Colorado River. The amoreuxia wrightii, which shortsighted collectors pick along the Rio Grande in Mexico and southern Texas. Vanishing Flora details what can be done to preserve threatened plants–and why it must be done: Plant diversity is essential to a balanced ecosystem and, ultimately, to the survival of all living things.

Note to MoJo historians: Stermer did the cover illustration for the very first issue of the magazine in February 1976.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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