I live in Mérida, Yucatán, MX. Neither of mine are actually labelled Native Species on iNaturalist but my favorite vine is Gonolobus barbatus, which is definitely a Peninsular vine. When it began to grow in my garden I did not know what it was but when it finally bloomed, its stunning blooms made it immediately identifiable.
It was also immediately beloved by my other favorite, the Mexican Pitted-Stingless Bee, Nannotrigona Perilampoides. To be fair, they seem to visit anything that blooms; I appreciate their “make do” attitude. (Some of the other species seem rather picky.) I have two groups of these extremely small bees living in holes in walls of my garden. I do not know how they came to be there but during the pandemic I spent a lot of time enjoying watching them.
Every one of them, I haven’t seen much of endemics yet to talk about “true” natives and iNat system of labels leaves most species without the “N”, but speaking of plants I really liked Dahurian Birch as this is an outwordly tree, so weird, you need to consciously prevent yourself from peeling its bark
and then the cinnamon fern which is also very cool-looking and soft on feel.
From iNat Native label I like European Peacock Butterfly which I remember well since childhood and also ended up seeing both of its subspecies. Maybe if someone wants to spend more time on editing country checklists, there’ll be more species to choose from.)
Unique to Australia (+ one recently described in South America), also unique in how they parasitise their ground-nesting Halictinae hosts: their larvae kill the host grub and then eat the pollen store.
The humble ragwort. It’s invasive in the Americas, Australia and New Zealand, and it’s toxic to livestock, but here it’s native. Very pretty clusters of bold yellow flowers that always attract everything. No one plant is complete without a variety of moths, bees, butterflies, flies and beetles going for it’s nectar, and of course the equally dazzling orange-black Cinnabar caterpillars that feed on the plant - and have been introduced worldwide where the plant’s invasive.
Ohio does not have any endemic plants at all, otherwise I probably would be most fond of those. As for native species I’m with Marina, I like all of them. My favorite genus is probably Spiranthes just because there’s so many different species of it here - Ohio has a total of 12 Spiranthes species (ovalis, magnicamporum, lacera, vernalis, incurva, ochroleuca, arcisepala, cernua, lucida, tuberosa, romanzoffiana, sheviakii). They all look exactly the same though
Plants - Penstemon, beautiful blooms and huge variety of size, color, and habitat (about 45 in New Mexico and almost 300 species from Alaska to Guatemala)
Birds - juncos are back in my neighborhood for the winter and they are so cute to watch and active with beautiful tail feathers. My overall favorite is the Golden-cheeked warbler.
Insects - so many to choose from!
Perdita bees are crazy small and diverse
Sun moths are gorgeous and yucca moths have a fascinating life cycle
Fireflies are mystifying, while wedge-shaped beetles are utterfly mysterious
Parasitic wasps are everywhere and have so many shapes, sizes, strategies, and colors
Though I am not an expert in them, I love pointing out sand wasps (subfamily Bembicinae) to people unused to insects. They are colourful, plump and ‘cute’, reasonably large, hover around you with flattering inquisitiveness, and can be found reliably in the right spots.
Bonus mp4 here showing one waving its legs and pedipalps.
I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about vertebrates, but probably top of the list would be the endemic salamander species Karsenia koreana. It’s the only lungless salamander in Asia and, in true naturalist fashion, it was ‘discovered’ when a science teacher took a class out to look for amphibians in 2003.
For plants, it would be the endemic and endangered Iris odaesanensis:
Well, I’m a bit confused as to whether “native” in this context refers to endemic (found only in a given rea) or indigenous (found naturally in a given area but also in other areas).
In any case, “where I live” changes from time to time. Most recently, I have been in California, and think I would have to pick coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). Is isn’t quite endemic to California, because it also extends into Oregon, but it is definitely an iconic tree of the region.
The place my heart calls home, though, is the Dominican Republic. There, it is hard to pick just a few. I am fond of the jagua tree (Genipa americana), which was important in the mythology of the Indigenous Taino people. It is far from endemic, extending through not only all the Caribbean islands, but also Central and South America, where it is important to many Native cultures.
I am also fond of the fire beetles (Pyrophorus sp.; but perhaps the Caribbean ones are now Ignelater?). They are many times bigger than fireflies, and their lights shine brighter. To me they seem to embody the magic and mystery of tropical nights. Since Wikipedia lists Ignelater dominicanensis, maybe the species is an endemic?
I have many more, but I want to keep this reply short.