Entries by Anke Bebber

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 […]

Phenology: Late Summer – Harvest Season Begins

Every year, a clear chronological sequence of events such as the beginning of flowering, fruit ripening, or leaf coloring of specific plant species repeats itself. Thoroughly documented, phenology provides important data on the changes in regional climate – benefiting, for example, farmers who can adjust their tasks like sowing and harvesting according to the corresponding […]

Plants Alongside and Inside Rivers

Flowing waters constitute a significant ecological habitat. Plants residing here are adapted to the year-round influence of freshwater. The quality of flowing water, the diversity of currents, and the dynamics of water levels profoundly shape the ecosystem. The richer the habitat, the greater the variety of plants and animals it supports. By the Water’s Edge […]

German Flower of the Year 2023: The Small Self-Heal

Flower of the Year The Loki Schmidt Foundation has chosen the Small Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris) as the Flower of the Year 2023 to draw attention to the gradual loss of numerous plant and animal species. The Small Self-Heal grows between 5 and 25 cm tall and delights observers with its small, violet flowers. Despite its […]

Heterophylly: One Plant – Different Leaves

The leaves of a plant are often a crucial feature for species identification: the leaf of the Wych Elm (Ulmus glabra) has a serrated edge, the leaves of the Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris) are soft and hairless, and the leaves of the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus) are always arranged oppositely. There are many examples of […]

German Plant Community 2023: Littorelletea uniflorae p.p.

Habitat of nutrient-poor shallow water The Floristic-Sociological Working Group declared the highly threatened Littorelletea uniflorae p.p. as the German plant community 2023. They were formerly quite common in the vicinity of clear, shallow heathland pools on sandy and gravelly raw soils or peaty substrates – inconspicuous and well adapted to the special requirements of the […]

German Poisonous Plant of the Year 2023: Parsley

A poisonous kitchen herb? Every year, the Botanical Special Garden Wandsbek in Hamburg announces the German Poisonous Plant of the Year. After the potato in the previous year, for 2023, it is parsley (Petroselinum crispum). The choice of parsley as the Poisonous Plant of the Year is intended to remind us that even seemingly harmless […]

Phenology: Midsummer – Long Days, Warm Nights

When we think of midsummer, we might hear the buzzing of insects, the chirping of birds, or the joyful laughter of children fully enjoying their summer vacations. Midsummer brings us a plethora of outdoor activities and unforgettable moments that will hopefully stay with us for a long time. However, climate change does not spare changes […]

Press Release: New AI for Flora Incognita

“Flora Incognita”, Germany’s most popular plant identification app, has been further enhanced by a new artificial intelligence (AI) – as a result, the number of identifiable plant species has tripled: around 16,000 species can be identified worldwide. The app, available in 20 languages, now also works offline. Its range of digital educational content has been […]