Thirty-one species and two subspecies of vascular plants of the Mediterranean area are presumed extinct. This would correspond to an extinction rate of 0.11% of the native Mediterranean flora, which compares with rates of 0.3% for vascular plant species of the Cape floristic province of S. Africa, 0.4% for higher plant taxa of California, and 0.66% for those of Western Australia. Percentages of threatened plant taxa are between 25 and 125 times as high as extinction rates. Records of plant extinctions are both incomplete and error-prone, as shown by examples, but even with improving knowledge the rates of species loss are unlikely to change significantly. They are lowest for the Mediterranean area, in which human implantation is most ancient, and for which large-scale undocumented early extinction is assumed, and highest for the most recently colonized area, south-western Australia, where extinction may now be at its peak. At least for the Mediterranean, aiming at the rescue of each and every species in danger is a realistic if ambitious goal.