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Rare plants

The natural habitats along the coasts of the South Funen Archipelago encompass a unique wild flora and fauna in areas particularly characterised by numerous salt meadows.
The climate is mild with above-average temperatures providing fine conditions of growth for wild flora usually native to the south and south-east of Denmark.


The shallow coastal waters are renowned for their vast marine meadows of the small-leafed flowering Eelgrass which serve as important maturation areas for many birds, fish and small animals such as species of snail and small crustaceans. At the same time, Eelgrass is a fine pollution indicator because the plant is quite sensitive to polluted, turbid, oxygen-deficient water.


Over the last century, the dispersion of Eelgrass habitats has decreased due to the recurring, local deoxygenation that occurs within the South Funen area.

Ålegræsenge i øhavet
Foto - Nanna Rask, Fyns Amt


Blomstrende strandeng, Helnæs
Salt-marshes, Helnæs
Photo - Naturturisme



The salt-marshes along the shores of the South Funen Archipelago are characterised by flora that have adapted to the soil’s high salinity.


Salt is otherwise toxic to plants, but these biotopes contain plants that can grow in low-lying areas flooded with saltwater up to twice a day. The plants are dispersed in the salt-marshes in zones or belts depending on the amount of moisture and/or salinity of the soil.


Some of the hardiest salt-resilient plants are Common Glasswort, Sand Spurrey and the rare Bassia hirsuta. Denmark has almost 20% of the world’s habitats of Bassia hirsuta, which is why the protection of its vulnerable habitats, among many others, is particularly important. This is done to a great extent by means of conservation measures where animals such as sheep, horses or cattle are set out to graze the faster-growing plants such as the Common Reed and Sea Wormwood.


The salt meadows are natural habitats for rare plant species – such as Bassia hirsuta, the lilac-coloured Common Sea Lavender and the yellow Inula britannica – as well as more common salt-marsh plants, such as Pepperwort, Thrift, Red Fescue and Strawberry Clover. Rare, protected orchid species also grow in many of the drier salt-marsh areas. .


Cuckoo-Pint is commonly found in many of the hedgerows in the centre of the islands, and in spring the roadsides can turn completely pink with flowering Butterbur. In springtime, Orchids, Yellow and Wood Anemones, Hollow Corydalis and pungent Ramsons are seen in deciduous woods and thickets.