Press Release
Service Announces Availability of Final Recovery Plan for the Whorled Sunflower
Media Contacts

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today the availability of the final recovery plan for the endangered whorled sunflower.

The objectives of the final recovery plan are to protect, restore and manage habitat to provide the conditions for the species to recover and ultimately remove it from the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants. The threats to the whorled sunflower are threats to a unique part of the natural heritage of its current and historic range.

Recovery plans are one of the many ways the Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a critical safety net for fish, wildlife and plants. In the 50 years since its enactment, the ESA has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species, as well as promoted the recovery of many others and conserved the habitats upon which they depend. 

The whorled sunflower (Helianthus verticillatus) is an herbaceous, flowering plant first described in 1898 based off an earlier collection from Chester County, Tennessee. Of the nine known historic populations in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia, it is extant in eight.    

It was federally listed as endangered in August 2014 with designated critical habitat in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. Populations in Mississippi and Virginia were not known at the time of the critical habitat designation.

The whorled sunflower is assigned a recovery priority number of five, which indicates the species faces a high degree of threat with low recovery potential. Close collaboration with our partners, the public, Federal, State and local government agencies is required for the whorled sunflower’s recovery.

The recovery plan is available for download at the following websites:

The final recovery plan will be made available at To obtain a copy by mail, please send a request to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mississippi Ecological Services Field Office, 6578 Dogwood View Parkway, Suite A, Jackson, MS 39214-7856 or by phone: 601-695-4900.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.  For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit  Connect with us on Facebook at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at, and download photos from our Flickr page at    


Story Tags

Endangered and/or Threatened species
Flowering plants