Restinga vegetation occurs along the entire coast of Brazil. The 187 km of coastline of the state of Pernambuco demonstrates a diversity of habitats, such as beaches, dunes, and restingas. The present study sought to elaborate a checklist of the phanerogamic species found there. The species listed were compiled from surveys undertaken between 1951 and 2007, as well as from herbaria collections in that state. A total of 477 species distributed among 303 genera and 95 families were encountered. The families with the greatest numbers of species were Poaceae (39 species), Fabaceae (34), Cyperaceae (26), Euphorbiaceae (25), Myrtaceae (24), Rubiaceae (20), Caesalpiniaceae (17), Mimosaceae (16), Asteraceae (14), Orchidaceae (14), Bromeliaceae (9), Boraginaceae (8), Malvaceae (8), Solanaceae (8), and Annonaceae, Araceae, Chrysobalanaceae, Malpighiaceae, and Melastomataceae (7 each). Approximately 60 % of the species were common to other restinga areas in northeastern Brazil, and 39.3 % were restricted to the coast of Pernambuco.