Entries by Anke Bebber

“Sonja Bernadotte Award for Paths to Nature Education” 2023 for Flora Incognita

The “Sonja Bernadotte Award for Paths to Nature Education” is annually presented by the German Horticultural Society 1822 (DGG) and serves as a recognition for outstanding achievements in the field of nature education. The award aims to raise awareness about the importance of nature education and experiences, strengthen commitment to nature education, and provide financial […]

Autumn Leaves: What Lies Behind the Explosion of Colors and Rustling Leaves?

Magical Autumn Green, yellow, red, brown leaves in all transitional phases currently call for long forest walks, providing atmospheric nature experiences and creative inspirations. However, there’s nothing magical behind this: decomposition and substance transport are responsible for the transformation. The aging process is known as senescence, and the eventual leaf fall is termed abscission. Let’s […]

Phenology: Late Autumn – Preparing for Winter

Leaf surfaces play a crucial role in plant biology, facilitating the evaporation of water absorbed through roots. The shedding of leaves in autumn prevents them from drying out when frost freezes the water in the soil. Late autumn marks the final phenological season before the period of dormancy, signaled by the changing color of English […]

Adopting Flora Incognita Plant Observations for Phenology Monitoring

Importance of Phenology A new paper, published by the Flora Incognita Research Group, shows that the plant observations collected via Flora Incognita can support phenological monitoring initiatives. Why is that important? Observing plant phenology helps scientists to understand how climate change affects plants, for example. If flowering periods shift due to changing climatic conditions, this […]

The Autumn Crocus

The article discusses the autumn crocus, also known as Colchicum autumnale, which belongs to the Colchicaceae family. There are about 100 species in this family, and the autumn crocus is the most well-known member. It blooms with light-violet flowers in late summer to autumn, adding a last touch of color to our meadows. Despite their […]

Phenology: Full Autumn

A glance into nature reveals ripe dogwood cherries lying on the ground, and autumn crocuses have faded away. A new phenological season begins: Full Autumn. Perhaps it will bring us a “Golden October” with many warm days, but weather is not an indicator of phenology. Phenology observes the annual developmental cycle of plants, and thus, […]

The Medicinal Plant of the Year 2023: The Grapevine

Sun-Loving Climbing Plant In viticulture, several hundred grapevine varieties are cultivated. They all belong to Vitis vinifera, the grapevine. There are eight to ten thousand varieties of it, and what they all have in common is their tendency to seek support with tendrils and extend their roots deep into the soil to draw water from […]

Phenology: Early Autumn – Warm Days, Cool Nights

The dog days are over, marking the end of the warmest time of the year. Now, we find ourselves at the beginning of a new phenological season: early autumn. Phenological seasons are characterized by specific developmental stages of certain indicator plants, including flowering, leaf unfolding, fruit ripening, autumn leaf coloration, and leaf fall. The early […]

The Tree of the Year 2023: The Bog Birch (or Downy Birch)

Birches in Central Europe In Central Europe, there are four native species of birch. Three of them prefer moorland habitats: the dwarf birch (Betula nana), the shrub birch (Betula humilis), and the bog birch (Betula pubescens), also known as downy birch. The fourth species, the silver birch (Betula pendula), in contrast to its sisters, is […]