37 Endangered Plants in Guatemala - Names and Photos

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Did you know that 37% of the surface of Guatemala is forests? In turn, this large wooded area is divided into two parts. On the one hand, there is the broadleaf forest also called tropical forest or jungle, which occupies a large part of that 37% and is made up of various plant species. On the other hand, there is the coniferous forest, which occupies a smaller area, and is specifically made up of coniferous species.

Although the diversity of plant species in Guatemala is truly amazing, many of its species are in danger of extinction. For this reason, from Ecologist Verde we want to publicize the species of endangered plants in Guatemala. If knowing these species is of your interest, do not hesitate to read this interesting article.


The spruce or Guatemalan fir (Abies guatemalensis), is an endemic tree of Guatemala that is found from the south of Mexico, covering all of Guatemala, to the south of El Salvador and the north of Honduras. It is characterized by being a species that grows more than 2,500 meters above sea level and can reach a height greater than 50 meters. It is currently considered in danger of extinction, mainly due to the loss and fragmentation of their habitat.


Mahogany, scientifically known as Swietenia macrophylla, is an endemic tree in the region between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the region where Guatemala is found. Among its characteristics we can highlight its great height, small greenish-yellow flowers and reddish wood. Precisely its wood is frequently used for cabinetmaking and furniture making. This fact, added to the loss and fragmentation of the habitat of this species, lead to mahogany being vulnerable to extinction.

American cedar

Other of the native species of Guatemala, is the American cedar (Cedrela odorata), whose wide distribution includes all of Central America. It is common for this species to be used in parks and gardens for its ornamental beauty. Its wood is also of very good quality, therefore it is used for the manufacture of furniture. In addition, this species is attributed healing properties of some diseases, such as bronchitis. Today, it is classified as vulnerable to extinction due to the excessive use of their copies.


Precisely the species of palm scientifically called Brahea calcarea, is native to Guatemala and Mexico. Although globally its situation is classified as Least Concern, in Guatemala this species is considered to be vulnerable to extinction caused by the loss and fragmentation of their habitat. As for its peculiarities, it is a palm tree that grows in areas where the altitude exceeds 1,000 meters above sea level and limestone is abundant.

Image: Palm trees and gardens


Continuing with the Guatemalan flora in danger of extinctionWe cannot fail to mention the genus Tillandsia, a genus of epiphytic plants that belong to the Bromeliad family and is native to Central and South America. In Guatemala, the Tillandsia species are commonly called cockerel and, unfortunately, many of these species are in danger of extinction due to their ornamental use and the loss of their habitat. Here we will list the species of Tillandsia in danger of extinction in Guatemala:

  • T. deflexa
  • T. filifolia
  • T. harrisii
  • T. magnusiana
  • T. matudae
  • T. pruinosa
  • T. xerographica


Guatemala has a great diversity of orchids, a taxonomic group of plants characterized by their rare, brightly colored flowers. Precisely because of the particularity of their flowers, orchids are highly sought after as ornamental plants. The over-exploitation of orchids has led to some species are classified as endangered. Next, we will name seven species of orchids that are in danger of extinction in Guatemala.

  • Lycaste skinneri
  • Lycaste virginalis
  • Lophiaris bicallosa
  • Lophiaris cavendishiana
  • Oncidium johannis
  • Rossioglossum large
  • Shiedeela stolonifera


He fledJuniperus standleyi) is a species of cypress native to southern Mexico and Guatemala that grows in areas of more than 3,000 meters of altitude. Regarding its state of conservation, it is considered in danger of extinction caused by the excessive deforestation of its specimens either by changes in the use of the land or by the use of its wood itself.

Image: Threatened Conifers

Canoj de Verapaz

The canoj of Verapaz (Ocotea bajapazensis) is possibly one of the most endangered plants. It is an endemic shrub from Guatemala, more precisely from the department of Baja Verapaz, hence its name. Today, it is classified as critically endangered. There are two reasons that jeopardize its existence: its extremely limited distribution and the loss and fragmentation of its habitat.

Image: Wikipedia

Other endangered plants in Guatemala

In this section, we will list more endangered plant species in Guatemala.

  • Thunderer (Oreopanax arcanus)
  • Dwarf cypress of the Sierras de la Minas (Juniperus comitana)
  • Highland dwarf cypress (Juniperus donell)
  • Ciprecillo (Podocarpus matudae)
  • Volcano sapote boy (Diospyros johnstoniana)
  • Avocado (Persea perglauca)
  • Sage (Buddleja megalocephala)
  • White cedar (Cedrela impartialipinnata)
  • Magnolia (Magnolia yoroconte)
  • Ashtray (Pithecolobium saman)
  • Balmea (Balmea stormae)
  • Unhealthy (Casimiroa emarginata)
  • Mico's Hand (Chiranthodendron pentadactylon)
  • Guayacan (Guaiacum officinale)
  • Lion ribRobust ceratozamia)

Now that you have met all these endangered plant species in Guatemala, we recommend you read these other articles about the Flora and fauna of Guatemala and the Biomes of Guatemala.

If you want to read more articles similar to Plants in danger of extinction in Guatemala, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

  • List of Threatened Species of Guatemala. National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP). Retrieved from: https://sip.conap.gob.gt/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lista-de-Especies-Amenazadas_LEA.pdf
  • Red Lists. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Website: https://www.iucnredlist.org/es
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