Centres of Plant Diversity

Centres of Plant Diversity (CPD) are regions of the world that hold a significant number of plant species and/or have a high number of endemic species. They were defined in collaboration between the WWF and IUCN and published in a three-volume publication (1994-1997).

The list below of connected WHS was compiled by a community effort based on the primary sources, the 3 Volumes of the printed books 'Centres of Plant Diversity'. Only sites with explicit Plant OUV and inscribed on criteria 7, 9 and/or 10 are included. The quotes were taken from the OUV statements of the respective sites.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Alejandro de Humboldt National Park Cb2 Oriente (via Cuchillas del Toa Biosphere Reserve) - "The property contains 16 out of 28 plant formations defined on the island of Cuba, considered a distinct and unique biogeographic province. There is a consensus that many species remain to be discovered in the property. The high degree of endemism across numerous taxonomic groups both on land and in freshwater is of particular importance, reaching almost three quarters of all known species in the case of the extremely diverse flora with many being local endemics."
Andrefana Dry Forests IO1 Madagascar - "Madagascar’s different forest types are home to 80% of its endemic species, and the dry forests make a major contribution to this richness. … the component parts added in 2023 include almost one thousand endemic species and sub-species of plants"
Atlantic Forest South-East SA17 Jureia-Itatins Ecological Station - "The flora and fauna are extremely diverse and very rich. The flora is among the most diverse in the world, and in some areas one can encounter over 450 species of trees per hectare."
Bale Mountains National Park Af60 Bale Mountains - "Bale Mountains National Park is home to 1,660 documented species of flowering plants, 177 of which are endemic to Ethiopia and 31 exclusively to the Bale Mountains."
Białowieża Forest Eu24 Bialowieza Forest - "The flora is diverse and regionally significant"
Blue and John Crow Mountains Cb10 Blue and John Crow Mountains - "One of two Centres of Plant Diversity in Jamaica, the property includes a reported 1,357 species of flowering plant of which approximately 294 are Jamaican endemics and 87 of these species are found only within the property."
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Af25 Bwindi (Impenetrable) Forest - "The property has the highest diversity of tree species (over 200 species including 10 endemics) and ferns (some 104 species) in East Africa"
Canaima National Park SA2 Pantepui Region - "The park protects a number of internationally threatened species, particulaly in the floral communities on the summit if the tepuis."
Cape Floral Region Af53 Cape Floristic Region - "The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants when compared to any similar sized area in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora."
Central Amazon Conservation Complex SA5 Manaus region - "the property protects an impressive variety of flora and fauna species"
Central Highlands IS12 Peak Wilderness and Horton Plains - "The montane forests in the three serial components contain the only habitats of many threatened plant and animal species and are therefore of prime importance for their in-situ conservation. The property features exceptionally high numbers of threatened species, extraordinary levels of endemism, and high levels of species richness in a number of taxonomic groups."
Central Sikhote-Alin CA5 Primorye - "unique species assemblages showing boreal, temperate and subtropical faunal and floral elements, recognized as a global “Centre of Plant Diversity”. The recorded 1,200 species of vascular plant species, including some 180 trees and shrubs, is extraordinarily high for a temperate forest and comprises numerous endemics"
Chiribiquete National Park SA7 Chiribiquete-Araracuara-Cahuinari Region - " Despite the fact that limited scientific research has been undertaken in the property, data available shows that 2,939 species have been recorded. These include 1,801 species of vascular plants"
Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands CA2 Caucasus - "The property is home to approximately 1,100 species of vascular and non-vascular plants"
Darien National Park MA20 Darién Province and Darién National Park - "Endemism is considerable across many taxonomic groups of flora and fauna. There are even several endemic tree species among the more than 40 recorded endemic plants."
Discovery Coast SA12 Atlantic Moist Forest of Southern Bahia & SA13 Tabuleiro forests of northern Espirito Santo - "one of the richest tropical forest regions in the world in terms of biodiversity. It contains around 20% of the world's flora, including 627 species of endangered plants. In some areas more than 450 species of trees over an area equivalent to a football field have been identified."
Dja Faunal Reserve Af11 Forest zone, River Dja region - "The Dja Reserve is one of Africa's most species-rich rainforests. It includes the habitat of numerous remarkable animal and plant species, many of which are globally threatened."
Donana National Park EU5 Guadalquiver Estuary and Coto Donana - "Mentioning only the best-known kingdoms, more than 1,400 species of flora have been identified, representing 114 families of superior plants, some endemic and new to science."
El Pinacate NA38 Sonoran Desert, including Baja California - "home to complex communities and surprisingly high species diversity across many taxonomic groups of flora and fauna. More than 540 species of vascular plants"
Fanjingshan EA16 Fanjing Mountains - "A total of 3,724 plant species have been recorded in the property, an impressive 13% of China’s total flora. The property is characterized by an exceptionally high richness in bryophytes as well as one of the distribution centres for gymnosperms in China."
Galapagos Islands PO7 Galapageian Floristic Province (Caribbean Region) - "The islands have relatively high species diversity for such young oceanic islands. Endemic flora such as the giant daisy trees Scalesia spp. and many other genera have also radiated on the islands, part of a native flora including about 500 vascular plant species of which about 180 are endemic."
Garajonay AO2 Canary Islands - "a recorded flora of 450 vascular plant species, of which 34 are endemic to the island and eight found only in the national park."
Garamba National Park Af49 Garamaba National Park - "a dense network of small permanent springs that support an exceptionally high plant productivity and herbivore biomass"
Golden Mountains of Altai CA1 Altai-Sayan - "an important and original centre of biodiversity of montane plant and animal species in northern Asia, a number of which are rare and endemic"
Gondwana Rainforests Au2 Border Ranges - "The Gondwana Rainforests provides the principal habitat for many species of plants and animals of outstanding universal value, including more than 270 threatened species as well as relict and primitive taxa."
Great Smoky Mountains NA23 Great Smoky Mountains - "The Great Smoky Mountains is one of the most ecologically rich and diverse temperate zone protected areas in the world. There are over 1300 native vascular plant species, including 105 native tree species, plus nearly 500 species of non-vascular plants - a level of floristic diversity that rivals or exceeds other temperate zone protected areas of similar size."
Greater Blue Mountains Au8 Sydney Sandstone Region - "The site includes an outstanding diversity of habitats and plant communities that support its globally significant species and ecosystem diversity (152 plant families, 484 genera and c. 1,500 species)."
Gulf of California NA38 Sonoran Desert, including Baja California - "The diversity of terrestrial and marine life in the property is extraordinary and constitutes a global priority for biodiversity conservation. On land, the close to 700 species of vascular plants are notable within a desert environment."
Gunung Mulu SEA18 Limestone Flora of Borneo, Sarawak & Sabah - "The property supports one of the richest assemblages of flora to be found in any area of comparable size in the world. It is botanically-rich in species and high in endemism, including one of the richest sites in the world for palm species"
Huascaran National Park SA33 Peruvian Puna - "Among the rich flora, the famous Queen of the Andes, known for its colossal inflorescence, stands out."
Hubei Shennongjia EA19 Shennongjia - "The property exhibits high levels of species richness, especially among vascular plants, and remarkably contains more than 63% of the temperate genera found across all of China, a megabiodiverse country with the world’s greatest diversity of temperate plant genera."
Hyrcanian Forests SWA18 Hyrcanian Forests - "The floristic biodiversity of the Hyrcanian region is remarkable at the global level with over 3,200 vascular plants documented. Due to its isolation, the property hosts many relict, endangered, and regionally and locally endemic plant species"
Ibiza EU9 Islas Baleares - "The coastal and terrestrial parts of the site boast several endemic plant species, including rare and vulnerable species."
Kahuzi-Biega National Park Af28 Kahuzi-Biega - "the Park was designated as a centre of diversity for plants by IUCN and WWF in 1994, with at least 1,178 inventoried species in the highland zone, although the lowland yet remains to be recorded."
Kakadu National Park Au4 Kakadu - Alligators River Region - "The property protects an extraordinary number of plant and animal species"
Khangchendzonga National Park IS3 Northern Sikkim and East Nepal - "Khangchendzonga National Park is located within a mountain range of global biodiversity conservation significance and covers 25% of the State of Sikkim, acknowledged as one of the most significant biodiversity concentrations in India. The property has one of the highest levels of plant and mammal diversity recorded within the Central/High Asian Mountains"
Kinabalu Park SEA 24 Kinabalu Park - "Floristically species-rich and identified as a globally important Centre of Plant Endemism, Kinabalu Park contains an estimated 5,000-6,000 vascular plant species including representatives from more than half the families of all flowering plants."
Lake Baikal CA6 Baikal region - "The lake contains an outstanding variety of endemic flora"
Laurisilva of Madeira AO3 Madeira (including the Salvage Islands) - "A large proportion of its plants and animals are unique to the laurel forest, and it is larger than and with significant differences to other laurel forest areas."
Lord Howe Island Au5 Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands - "A significant number of endemic species or subspecies of plants and animals have evolved in a very limited area. The diversity of landscapes and biota and the high number of threatened and endemic species make these islands an outstanding example of independent evolutionary processes."
Lorentz National Park SEA69 Gunung Lorentz - "evidence of highly developed endemism in both plants and animals, especially for the higher altitudes of the mountains"
Los Alerces National Park SA46 Patagonia - "This is evidenced by the presence of relict genera and even taxonomic orders, as well as numerous endemic and threatened species: 34% of woody plant genera are endemic, from which 80% are known from only one species, and some are relict having survived periods of glaciation"
Los Katios National Park SA39 Colombian Pacific Coast Region (Choco) - "Around 20% of plant species occurring in the park are endemic to the Chocó-Darien region."
Machu Picchu SA37 Eastern slopes of Peruvian Andes - "Machu Picchu shelters a remarkably diverse array of microclimates, habitats and species of flora and fauna with a high degree of endemism."
Maloti-Drakensberg Park Af82 Drakensberg Alpine Region - "It has outstanding species richness, particularly of plants. It is recognised as a Global Centre of Plant Diversity and endemism, and occurs within its own floristic region – the Drakensberg Alpine Region of South Africa. "
Manu National Park SA37 Eastern slopes of Peruvia Andes & SA11 Lowlands of Manu National Park: Cocha Cashu Biological Station - "Thousands of higher plant species are distributed across the diverse ecosystems, habitats and niches. Hundreds of tree species have been identified, often jointly growing within very small areas."
Morne Trois Pitons Cb4 Morne Trois Pitons NP - "Along extreme altitudinal and micro-climatic gradients an impressive variety of forest types has evolved featuring a highly diverse flora with many endemic vascular plant species."
Mount Emei, including Leshan Giant Buddha EA39 Mountains of W Sichuan - "Mount Emei is a site of special significance to conservation and to science for its high floral diversity. The biodiversity of the site is exceptionally rich: some 3,200 plant species in 242 families have been recorded, of which 31 are under national protection and more than 100 species are endemic."
Mount Kenya Af62 Mount Kenya - "Vegetation varies with altitude and rainfall and the property supports a rich alpine and subalpine flora"
Mount Nimba Af4 Mt Nimba - "More than 2,000 species of vascular plants, including several endemic or quasi-endemic plants have been recorded."
Mount Wuyi EA14 Wuyi Mountain - "The largest, most representative example of a largely intact forest encompassing the diversity of the Chinese Subtropical Forest and the South Chinese Rainforest, with high plant diversity. It acts as a refuge for a large number of ancient, relict plant species, many of them endemic to China and rare elsewhere in the country. "
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers IS2 Nanda Devi - "The Valley of Flowers is internationally important on account of its diverse alpine flora, ..The rich diversity of species reflects the valley’s location within a transition zone.... A number of plant species are globally threatened, several have not been recorded from elsewhere in Uttarakhand and two have not been recorded in Nanda Devi National Park. The diversity of threatened species of medicinal plants is higher than has been recorded in other Indian Himalayan protected areas. "
Nyungwe National Park Af66 Nyungwe Forest Reserve - "has a very rich flora with 1,468 species of vascular plant species"
Odzala-Kokoua Af14 Odzala NP & Biosphere Reserve - "home to at least 32 plant species unknown elsewhere in the region including one endemic species. In all, 1,150 plant species have been listed"
Ogasawara Islands PO1 Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands - "The property's ecosystems reflect a range of evolutionary processes illustrated through its rich assemblage of plant species from both a Southeast Asian and a Northeast Asian origin. There is also a very high percentage of endemic species"
Olympic National Park NA 14 Olympic Mountains - "The coastal Olympic rainforest reaches its maximum development within the property and has a living standing biomass which may be the highest anywhere in the world. The park’s isolation has allowed the development of endemic wildlife, subspecies of trout, varieties of plants and unique fur coloration in mammals, indications of a separate course of evolution."
Papahanaumokuakea PO6 Hawaiian Islands - "The terrestrial and marine habitats of Papahānaumokuākea are crucial for the survival of many endangered or vulnerable species the distributions of which are highly or entirely restricted to the area. This includes.. six species of endangered plants such as the Fan Palm."
Peninsula Valdes SA46 Patagonia - "Both the coastal areas, a diverse mosaic of wetlands, mudflats, dunes and cliffs, and the land area, a distinct and relatively intact part of the Patagonian Desert Steppe, harbour diverse flora and fauna of high conservation value."
Pirin National Park Eu14 Balkan & Rhodope Massifs - "In total, there are 1,315 species of vascular plants, about one third of Bulgaria’s flora, including 86 Balkan endemics, 17 Bulgarian endemics and 18 local endemics"
Pitons of Reunion IO2 Mascarene Islands - "The property is a global centre of plant diversity with a high degree of endemism. It contains the most significant remaining natural habitats for the conservation of the terrestrial biodiversity of the Mascarene Islands, including a range of rare forest types. "
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River SEA60 Palawan - "It contains outstanding biodiversity with the Palawan Moist Forest recognized by the WWF’s Global Report as containing the richest tree flora, with high levels of regional and local endemism"
Pyrénées - Mont Perdu Eu10 Pyrenees - "the region is of great interest for science and conservation, possessing a panoply of geological, panoramic, faunistic and floristic elements that make it one of the most important Alpine protected areas in Europe."
Rainforests of the Atsinanana IO1 Madagascar - "The level of endemism within the property is approximately 80 to 90 percent for all groups, and endemic families and genera are common. Madagascar is among the top countries known for their "megadiversity" and features an extraordinarily high number (circa 12,000) of endemic plant species."
Redwood NA16 California Floristic Province - "preserve the largest remaining contiguous ancient coast redwood forest in the world in their original forest and streamside settings."
Rio Abiseo National Park SA37 Eastern slopes of Peruvian Andes - "Even though only limited research has been conducted in these forests and grasslands, more than 5,000 plant species have been recorded, almost 1,000 in the grasslands alone."
Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve MA15 North-east Honduras and Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve - "as a globally important stronghold of biodiversity Río Plátano harbours at least 586 species of vascular plants in its diverse habitats and there may still be species new to science in remote parts of the property."
Rwenzori Mountains Af77 Rwenzori Mountains - "The higher altitude zones, covered by heath and Afro-alpine moorland, extend from around 3,500 m to the snow line and represent the rarest vegetation types on the African continent. Significant species include the giant heathers, groundsels, lobelias and other endemics"
Salonga National Park Af30 Salonga NP - "The plant and animal life in Salonga National Park constitute an example of biological evolution and the adaptation of life forms in a complex equatorial rainforest environment. "
Sangay National Park SA31 Paramos and Andean forests of Sangay National Park - "Although the flora is poorly known, at least 3,000 species are expected to occur in the park and, given the special conditions, probably exhibit a high degree of endemism."
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries EA22 Wolong Mountains & EA40 High Mountain & Deep gorge Region Hengduan Mountains & Min Jiang River basin - "The property is also one of the botanically richest sites of any temperate region in the world or indeed anywhere outside of the tropical rain forests. () some 5,000 – 6,000 species recorded"
Simien National Park Af61 Simien Mountains - "The property is of global significance for biodiversity conservation. It forms part of the Afroalpine Centre of Plant Diversity and the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot, and it is home to a number of globally threatened species. "
Sinharaja Forest IS13 Sinharaja - "Endemism within the property is extremely high. Protecting the last viable remnant of Sri Lanka’s tropical lowland rainforest, Sinharaja is home to at least 139 endemic plant species"
Socotra Archipelago SWA4 Socotra - "Socotra is particularly important for its diversity of plants and has 825 plant species of which 307 (37%) are endemic."
Sub-Antarctic Islands Au17 Subantarctic Islands - "As a group they are distinct from all other island groups, having the highest diversity of indigenous plants and birds. The “megaherbs’ are unique to the NZSAI and Macquarie Island."
Sundarbans National Park IS10 Sundarbans - "The mangrove ecosystem of the Sundarbans is considered to be unique because of its immensely rich mangrove flora"
Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch EU11 Alps - "Superb examples of plant succession exist, including the distinctive upper and lower tree-line of the Aletsch forest."
Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves MA17 La Amistad Biosphere Reserve - "The property boasts an exuberant biological diversity of both flora and fauna with an elevated degree of endemism across numerous taxonomic groups, often exceeding one third of the species within a taxonomic group. The Talamanca Mountains host some 10,000 flowering plants and over 4,000 non-vascular plants. There are approximately 1,000 fern species and about 900 species of lichen"
Tasmanian Wilderness Au9 Western Tasmanian Wilderness - "Mosaic landscapes of fire-susceptible and fire-dependent plant communities have formed. These include large, remote, undisturbed areas of Mountain Ash, one of the tallest flowering plants in the world"
Taï National Park Af2 Tai NP - Has no OUV statement but AB ev says: "This humid tropical forest has a high level of endemism - over 150 species have been identified as endemic to the Tai region"
Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Valley MA4 Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Region - "A remarkable 70% of worldwide floral families are represented in the Valley, by at least one species, and the area is one of the main centres of diversification for the cacti family, which is highly threatened worldwide. "
The Sundarbans IS10 Sundarbans - "Its exceptional biodiversity is expressed in a wide range of flora; 334 plant species belonging to 245 genera and 75 families"
Three parallel rivers of Yunnan EA26 Gaoligong Mntns, Nu Jiang River & Bilou Snow Mntns - "the last remaining stronghold for an extensive suite of rare and endangered plants and animals"
Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng EA59 Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary World Heritage Site - "Thung Yai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary has exceptional species and habitat diversity. The property supports many wild plant and animal relatives of domestic species"
Tikal National Park MA13 Petén Region and Maya Biosphere Reserve - "home to an impressive diversity of flora and fauna across its various terrestrial and freshwater habitats. More than 2000 higher plants, including 200 tree species have been inventoried. Palms, epiphytes, orchids and bromeliads abound in the various forest types"
Tropical Rainforest Sumatra SEA41 Gunung Leuser NP & SEA42 Kerinci-Seblat NP - "Collectively, the three sites include more than 50% of the total plant diversity of Sumatra"
Tugay forests CA3 Mountains of Middle Asia - "The 24,100 hectares of tugay forests in the reserve represent the largest and most intact tugay forest of this type in Central Asia"
Ujung Kulon National Park SEA66 Ujung Kulon NP - "In addition to the rich fauna 57 species of rare plants have also been recorded."
Uvs Nuur Basin CA1 Altai-Sayan - "The more than 550 higher plants include relict species and a number of plants endemic to Mongolia and the Tuva Republic, with five species endemic to the lake basin."
Vallée de Mai IO3 Seychelles (Granite Islands) - "The property represents an outstanding example of biological evolution dominated by endemic palms"
Virunga National Park Af78 Virunga NP - "Virunga National Park possesses a very wide diversity of plants and habitats, making it the top African National Park for biological diversity. More than 2,000 premier plant species have been identified, of which 10% are endemic to the Albertine Rift"
Western Caucasus CA2 Caucasus - "The Caucasus are one of the global centres of plant diversity. The nominated site includes nearly onethird of the 6,000 plant species of the Greater Caucasus, including Tertiary relicts and Mediterranean and Asiatic Turano-Iranian elements."
Western Ghats IS8 Niligri Hills - "The Western Ghats contain exceptional levels of plant and animal diversity and endemicity for a continental area. In particular, the level of endemicity for some of the 4-5,000 plant species recorded in the Ghats is very high"
Western Tien-Shan CA3 Mountains of Middle Asia - "The Western Tien-Shan supports outstanding diversity of plant and animal species with high level of endemism and many species of global conservation importance. Western Tien-Shan has an exceptional value as a centre of origin of cultivated plants. It is home to a number of wild species related to domesticated fruit plants"
Wet Tropics of Queensland Au10 Wet Tropics of Queensland - "The area supports an exceptionally high level of diversity of both flora and fauna, with over 3,000 vascular plant species in 224 families, of which 576 species and 44 genera are endemic, including two endemic plant families"
Whale Sanctuary of El Vizcaino NA38 Sonoran Desert, including Baja California - "The drier terrestrial areas belong to the Sonoran Desert, well-known for its remarkably diverse flora and fauna and a high degree of endemism."
Xinjiang Tianshan EA37 Northern slopes of Tien Shan (Xinjiang) - "Altitudinal vegetation distributions, significant differences between north and south slopes, and diversity of flora, all illustrate the biological and ecological evolution of the Pamir-Tian Shan Highlands"
Yakushima EA50 Yakushima - "The property is home to a number of extremely large diameter Japanese cedar trees, thousands of years old with the oldest and most spectacular individuals of the species found on Yakushima Island… Home to some 1,900 species and subspecies of flora,"
Yosemite National Park NA16 California Floristic Province - "three groves of giant sequoia"
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Af59 Maputaland Pondaland Region - "over 6,500 plant .. species recorded from the Park"


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  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
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  5. Be explained, with reference to a source