We hope that each of you, our readers, will enjoy and appreciate this article we present about these 5 Fabulous Flora of Germany. It was certainly our pleasure to gather the information for you. May it provide you with both education and increased awareness.
Certainly, these few species listed herein represent only a portion of the similar marvels found in this area. It’s our belief, though, that they serve as excellent representations of the wonders that exist. Check out some of our other articles for similar marvels.
Mistle Toe Facts
- Leading off this article about these 5 Fabulous Flora of Germany we present you with the marvelous species known simply as Mistletoe.
- In general cultural usage, people apply the short term given herein to any of the related plants placed in the, perhaps humorously-named, Order of Santalales. Originally, however, the term was used to refer to the single specific species presented herein.
- It’s formal, scientific name’s relatively easy to pronounce, as such things go. That’s because it bears the technical name of the Viscum album. It has several common names, though. These include the terms of European mistletoe and common mistletoe.
- It further shares a distinction with many other species around the world. That’s due to the fact that the Swedish botanist and zoologist, Carl Linnaeus, made the first formal acknowledgement of it, officially recognizing it as a separate and distinct species.
- It’s featured prominently in cultural uses in many parts of the world, including Europe and North America. Though not native to the latter region of the world, it’s present in cultivation. In those regions where not found, related native species replace its usage.
- Fortunately, all known varieties of Mistletoe appear to be maintaining population bases that are both stable and sufficient. The IUCN therefore either lists them all as Least Concern, or has no current listing for them. That could potentially change, however.
- Like most species, it does face some threats to its continued existence. Habitat loss naturally poses a threat to the wild populations, of course. Yet its greatest source of danger most likely consists of the ever-growing perils presented by climate change.
Mistletoe Physical Description
As a variety of Mistletoe, the amazing Viscum album evolved as a special type of evergreen shrub. That’s because it’s actually what botanists classify as a hemi-parasitical plant. This evolutionary path lead it to form different physical traits than many other flora.
In many ways, its general form resembles vines. This marvel of Nature and evolution produces numerous thin, elongated stems. Even among mature specimens, however, these display vastly different measurements, due to local environmental conditions.
The majority of individuals, though, produce copious stems that attain lengths averaging from 12 – 39 in (30 – 100 cm). Each of these further branch out multiple times. These also frequently tend to wind around each other, often producing a somewhat rounded shape.
Its leaves, meanwhile, typically appear in opposite pairs. They also usually display highly smooth, rounded edges, with a distinctive smooth leathery texture. This foliage additionally averages 0.8 – 3.15 in (2 – 8 cm) in length, and about 0.3 – 1 in (0.8 – 2.5 cm) in width.
That part of this particular form of the awesome Mistletoe generally presents a yellowish-green color. The flowers remain quite small, averaging no more than 0.12 in (3 mm) when open. The fruit also appears as a tiny, rounded berry, most often yellow or white in color.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperm
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Santalales
- Family: Santalaceae
- Genus: Viscum
- Species: V. album
Mistletoe Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Fortunately, both for the beautiful Mistletoe itself, and for those of us who appreciate Nature, this particular variety inhabits a relatively broad swathe of the globe. That’s due to the fact that it evolved as endemic to certain portions of Africa, Europe and Asia.
It lives in most of Europe, beginning in Scandinavia, and moving southward. This also includes the isle of Great Britain. In Africa, meanwhile, it appears in parts of the northern section. But in Asia, the plant mainly lives in the eastern section, including Japan.
This incredible product of untold ages of evolution holds yet another advantage over many species. That’s because it evolved as highly general in its choice of habitat. More precisely, the resourceful plant appears wherever any of several varieties of trees appear.
It makes its home almost exclusively on several types of broad-leaf trees. These primarily consist of polar, hawthorn, lime, and apple trees, of various varieties. Though it does appear on other species occasionally, such divergence from the norm remains extremely rare.
From its home on its choice of host tree, this specific variety of Mistletoe, like its relatives, draws most of its nourishment directly from the host. These include water and nutrients taken via root-like structures. Those, however, extend under the bark of the tree.
It’s long been extremely popular in Western folklore, in connection with the Christmas Season. Surprisingly, this holds true despite the fact that this variety, the Viscum album, is highly toxic! Ingestion in concentration can even prove fatal in some instances.
Cypripedium calceolus Facts
- Next up among our choices for inclusion in this compilation of 5 Fabulous Flora of Germany comes the tantalizing beauty named the Cypripedium calceolus.
- The tongue-twisting term applied to this wonder serves as the official scientific name of a stunning variety of plant. Unfortunately for most of its fans, the magnificent orchid species currently has no generally accepted common name.
- The first recorded scientific description of this beautiful wonder of Nature occurred in Germany, in 1753. Later, the renowned Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus became the first person to officially place it within a scientific classification.
- In fact, that official placement puts it in the Family collectively known as the Lady’s Slipper Orchid. Its particular appearance, however, often leads to its being confused with other, visibly similar species, at least by non-professional observers.
- Quite thankfully, for those who appreciate its beauty, the Cypripedium calceolus appears to be maintaining a sufficient and stable population base. The IUCN, therefore, lists the natural beauty as Least Concern on its Red List of Threatened Species.
- The gorgeous plant must, however, still be considered to be facing at least some risks to its continued existence. Though still abundant, human encroachment on its habitat could pose a threat in the future. Plus, it now faces the threat posed by climate change.
Cypripedium calceolus Physical Description
Regardless of its nearly impossible to pronounce name, the magnificent Cypripedium calceolus easily dazzles the eye. Yet it does not do so just because of its appearance, though that’s certainly lovely. It also represents one of the largest of the orchid varieties in its range.
The highly visually distinctive Angiosperm attains a height of as much as 23.6 in (60 cm). Along the length of its delicate, light-green colored stem, it further produces impressive foliage. Its 3 – 4 leaves also average 7.1 in (18 cm) in length, and 3.5 in (9 cm) in width.
Each individual plant typically produces 1 -2 of its spectacular blooms. These themselves also stand out for more than just their undeniable beauty, since they’re also somewhat larger than many of their relatives. More precisely, these average about 3.5 in (9 cm) in width.
Its the color scheme of the awesome Cypripedium calceolus that truly stands out, however. Its long, frequently slightly twisted, petals vary from reddish-brown to black, but may occasionally be green. It also has a large, slipper-shaped labellum, with red dots.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Monocots
- Order: Asparagales
- Family: Orchiaceae
- Genus: Cypripedium
- Species: C. calceolus
Cypripedium calceolus Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Thankfully, the breathtaking Cypripedium calceolus possesses a remarkably wide distribution. In point of fact, it inhabits a relatively broad swathe of the world. This extensive range includes nearly every country in Europe, and also many of those in Asia, as well.
Quite sadly, its numbers have become severely diminished in the European portion of its range, in recent decades. In all parts of its range, though, it displays decided preferences for its habitat. The great majority of its numbers appear in temperate forests and shrubland.
Nonetheless, in its European range, the plant has adapted to another type of environment. This consists of areas of humus, over a limestone base, and within partially shaded woodlands. In all parts of its range, it lives at altitudes of no more than 6,890 ft (2,100 m).
For reasons that still elude researchers, the marvelous Cypripedium calceolus also frequently appears in association with another plant. A large percentage of its population grows in close proximity to stands of hazel trees, sometimes intermingling with them.
Like many of its related species, this wonder of Nature achieves its pollination via the action of a wide range of insets. The majority of these, though, seem to be formed of various species of bees. Meanwhile, it itself seems to be a popular food for slugs and snails.
Common Holly Facts
- Appearing in the third spot in this listing of5 Fabulous Flora of germany, the simple yet beautiful plant named the Common Holly does so only due to random selection.
- This magnificent creation of Nature and evolution most frequently goes by this short, general name across much of its native range. Yet, the wonder also holds several other common names. In this respect, it’s like many other species around the world.
- These alternate terms include such informative names as the Christmas holly, due to its cultural usage. Others, however, include English holly, European holly, or simply holly. Regardless of which of these one uses, it’s a beautiful and intriguing variety of flora.
- Among scientific professionals, though, it’s generally referred to by its technical name. That’s the relatively simple, though perhaps less appealing, term of Ilex aquifolium. It’s a member of the only genus in its Family, which currently contains at least 560 species.
- It further received its technical name at the hands of the renowned Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus. He made the first formal recognition of it as a separate and distinct species. The scientist accomplished this scientifically noteworthy recognition in 1753.
- Fortunately, the Common Holly merits its name. That’s because its populations appears to be both stable and sufficient. This also seems to hold true throughout the entirety of its range. The IUCN, therefore, presently list it as Least Concern on its Red List.
- The gorgeous Angiosperm nevertheless does face potential threats to its existence. Due to human expansion, habitat loss might one day threaten it. Its greatest danger, however, likely consists of the ever-increasing effects of ongoing climate change.
Common Holly Physical Description
Despite its deceptive name, the Common Holly is anything but ordinary. It is, in fact, quite special, for various reasons. Chief among those, perhaps, comes its remarkable versatility. That’s due to the fact that the variable evergreen appears as either a shrub or tree.
Due to that variability, sheer physical size often varies significantly. The larger specimens, developing as trees, frequently reach heights in excess of 33 ft (10 m). Typically, however, it develops as a shrub. These usually range from 6.6 – 9.8 ft (2 – 3 m) in height.
Exceptional specimens of the flora do exist, though. A few of these outstanding individual plants measure as much as 82 ft (25 m) in height! Regardless of the heights various examples attain, however, its overall physical characteristics remain otherwise quite similar.
The central structure of the plant consists of a tall woody stem. The diameter of this obviously varies, depending on how tall the plant grows. Generally speaking, though, this measures between 16 – 31 in (40 – 80 cm) in diameter. But, a few have reached 39 in (99 cm).
From this central feature, numerous leaves branch off. This foliage further averages 2 – 4.7 in (5 – 12 cm) in length, and 0.8 – 2.4 in (2 – 6 cm) in width. These also have an evergreen nature, being a darker green on the upper surface, and lighter on the underside.
Meanwhile, the flowers of the Common Holly provide a dazzling color contrast. These manifest as bright white, and in copious numbers. The fruit also augments the beauty of the amazing plant. Though quite small, these appear as either a very bright yellow or red.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Trachyophyta
- Class: Angiosperms
- Order: Aquifoliales
- Family: Aquifoliaceae
- Genus: Ilex
- Species: I. aquifolium
Common Holly Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Fortunately for the intriguingly-named Common Holly, it evolved as endemic to a relatively broad swathe of the globe. That’s because it’s native to portions of three continents. Those regions include southwest Asia, northwest Africa, and southern and western Europe.
Due to human activities, though, it’s now been spread to other parts of the world. In some of those regions, however, it’s now become considered an invasive species. That’s especially true, though, on the east coast of North America, from Canada to the United States.
In all regions it appears in, however, the plant demonstrates the same environmental preferences. Due to that, the vast majority of specimens appear in relatively moist regions. Despite this, it’s proven to be remarkably hardy, enduring both drought and frost.
The tantalizing flora possesses further defining preferences, though. It most often develops, and thrives, in various types of temperate forests. It also demonstrates a preference for the presence of a high percentage of deciduous trees, especially native oak varieties.
Within its native range, the Common Holly only merits the adjective in terms of frequency of presence. In the local ecosystem, it plays a vital role. Many animals, ranging from birds to deer, also frequently take refuge within its dense, thorny, labyrinthine structure.
Its flowers provide a further benefit to its local wildlife. Numerous bees, flies, butterflies, and wasps flock to them for nectar. Following the first frost, its fruits drop to the ground. These thus serve as a ready food source for winter birds, who subsequently spread its seeds.
Lotus corniculatus Facts
- Next up in this collection of 5 Fabulous Flora of Germany aappears the remarkable creation of evolution known as the Lotus corniculatus.
- The term listed here serves as the scientific name of a stunning and extremely unusual, small flowering plant. It also goes by several common names, though. These include the birdsfoot deervetch, and even the comical eggs and bacon.
- But, regardless of the name one uses for it, the gorgeous plant remains a true marvel of Nature. This actually holds true for reasons other than just its beauty, however. Believe it or not, the stunning species actually constitutes a member of the pea family.
- You do not want to eat it, though, regardless of its remarkable visual appeal. That’s due to one very astonishing fact. That’s the startling fact that this botanical beauty actually contains naturally occurring trace amounts of the deadly chemical cyanide.
- In extremely small amounts, however, this beautiful and remarkable species has some specific medicinal uses. To the great surprise of many people, though, the beautiful plant also actually gets widely used as a source of forage for many types of livestock.
- The majority of animal species kept as livestock, fortunately for them, have an advantage over human beings. That’s true since many of these animals can eat the beautiful, yet quite dangerous, Lotus Corniculatus without incurring harmful effects.
- As a rule, most animals have a much greater natural tolerance for small concentrations of cyanide than homo sapiens. Fortunately, the flora also has a comparatively wide range of natural distribution. Therefore, the IUCN currently has no listing for it.
Lotus Corniculatus Physical Description
Most notably, though seemingly extremely delicate, the magnificent Lotus Corniculatus surprises most people. That’s due to the fact that this particular variety of Angiosperm conceals a great many surprises. Among those is the fact that it’s actually quite hardy.
Nonetheless, sheer physical size does not rank as one of the astounding characteristics of the beautiful Angiosperm. That remains true since this herbaceous plant only achieves a maximum known height of about 8 in (20 cm) unless supported by other plants.
This stunning flora also most commonly grows in a sprawling manner along the ground. It rarely does so over great distances, however. The small flowers of the gorgeous Lotus Corniculatus additionally display combinations of orange and yellow color.
Not surprisingly, since it is part of the pea family, the seeds further develop in small, elongated pods. The leaves of the remarkable plant also most commonly grow in groups of five. Typically, three of these form a natural trefoil pattern over the other two.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Angiosperms
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Fabales
- Family: Fabaceae
- Genus: Lotus
- Species: L. corniculatus
Lotus Corniculatus Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Surprisingly, the visually breathtaking, and scientifically fascinating, Lotus Corniculatus remains endemic to a remarkably large section of the globe. In point of fact, the intriguing plant inhabits a wide swathe of the continents of Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa.
Within that truly impressive geographical range of habitation, the plant also predominantly appears in regions of grasslands. Regardless of its habitat, though, this marvelous species of flora qualifies as far more than just another visually appealing creation of Nature.
This particular Angiosperm also has an incredibly extreme level of durability. This holds true even to the point of surviving being trampled by livestock. In addition, this unexpectedly tough species also grows equally well in both nutrient-rich soils and nutrient-poor soils.
The Lotus Corniculatus additionally most commonly grows in areas that most plants would find forbidding. In point of fact, this primarily consists of regions of grassland with a high percentage of sand. Few species with comparable beauty can make this unusual claim.
Due to its comparative hardiness, farmers often actually use it in cultivation, especially in certain parts of Europe. As a result of this surprising practice, this wonder of Nature has become considered an invasive species in some portions of Australia and North America.
Tree Heather Facts
- Closing out this article about these 5 Fabulous Flora of Germany is the the intriguing product of evolution known as the Tree Heather.
- This variety of flora most frequently goes by the somewhat deceptive common name used herein across parts of its native range. It does, however, possess another, less commonly used name. That’s the very similar term of the tree heath, though.
- The majority of scientific professionals, meanwhile, including researchers, usually refer to it by its technical name. That, however, is a relatively easy to pronounce term, compared to many. That’s because it bears the scientific name of the Erica arborea.
- Regardless of which term one chooses to use when referring to it, though, it remains an intriguing species. The Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus holds the distinction of accomplishing the first formal acknowledgment of it as a separate and distinct species.
- Though concerns exist over the size of its endemic range, it appears to be maintaining a population base that’s both sizable and sufficient. The IUCN, therefore, presently lists this marvelous work of Nature as Least Concern on its Red List of Threatened Species.
- The Tree Heather nevertheless should be considered to be facing a few threats to its existence. Loss or degradation of its habitat due to the actions of mankind pose a potential danger, of course. Its greatest threat though, comes from climate change.
Tree Heather Physical Description
The delightful Tree Heather quickly draws the eye of all those who enocounter it. It does so, however, for several reasons, not just because of its visual appeal. That’s due to the fact that this remarkable product of evolution appears as either a shrub or small tree!
The majority of specimens develop into small-to-medium size shrubs, however. That holds true for both the wild specimens and those cultivated, typically in small gardens. In either form the plant appears in, though, the species develops as an evergreen.
Most individuals of this amazing Angiosperm reach a height ranging from 3 – 13 ft (1 – 4m). Approximately 3 – 6 ft (1 -2m), though, constitutes the most common height range. Some exceptional specimens, however, grow to heights of up to 23 ft (7m).
Each plant typically produces several, comparatively thin, upward-reaching trunks. These possess a covering of rough, brownish bark. It also produces large numbers of distinctive leaves. These further develop as long, needle-like in shape, and a dark green in color.
It’s the flowers of the incredible Tree Heather that understandably garner the most attention. These it produces along its many slender branches. It also produces these in huge numbers. Each further present a bright white shade, has a bell shape, and a honey-like scent.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Eudicots
- Order: Ericales
- Family: Ericaceae
- Genus: Erica
- Species: E. arborea
Tree Heather Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Unfortunately, the gorgeous Tree Heather inhabits a region of the globe that’s both limited, and highly fragmented. The reason for the fragmentation, however, currently remains unknown. Presently, it appears in widely disjunct groupings within this overall region.
More precisely, though, that zone of habitation includes the general Mediterranean Basin. This includes small parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe. From there, though, its range extends north to Bulgaria. It also grows in Portugal, and parts of the Canary Islands and Madeira.
In all the regions it does grow in, however, it displays a decided preference for several types of ecosystems. In Africa, it mainly lives in the highlands of Ethiopia, and mountains in Cameroon. Elsewhere, though, the versatile plant mainly appears in areas of shrublands.
The actions of humans, meanwhile, have caused ito become naturalized in a different part of the world as well. That’s due to the fact that, surprisingly, small populations of this wonder of evolution now appear in southeastern portions of the continent of Australia.
It’s now also become extremely popular as an ornamental plant, due to its many beautiful blooms. That further holds true both within its natural range and outside of it. Several cultivars of this natural beauty also now exist in various parts of the globe.
The Tree Heather is also highly valued for its wood. This part of the plant evolved as extremely hard, and heat resistant. It’s therefore prized in some regions for making pipes. Its tubers, roughly the size of a football, also serve as an edible component in some regions.
5 Fabulous Flora of Germany
We hope that each of you enjoyed reading, and hopefully learning from, this article we’ve written about these 5 Fabulous Flora of Germany. It’s also our sincere hope that doing so has left you with a new or renewed appreciation for such wonders of Nature.
Unfortunately, many other such species around the world now find themselves facing threats to their continued existence. Many of those dangers, in fact, stem from the actions of mankind. We must do all we can to protect and preserve them all for the future.