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Halophytes
'Halophytes' (salt plants) are on one hand salt loving plants, on the other hand salt tolerant plants. The former ones need soil with high salt concentration, the latter ones don't need the salt, but benefit from that due to the salt concentration few competitor plants are able to grow there. Native sites of halophytes are mainly the sea shores. Below some plants of the coasts of the North and Baltic Sea are shown. Some plants, e.g. Atriplex species, are even able to exsolute excessive salt, which then is visible as salty dots on the leaves.
 
Atriplex littoralis, Grassleaf Orache
Atriplex littoralis / Grassleaf Orache
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Atriplex prostrata, Spear-Leaved Orache
Atriplex prostrata / Spear-Leaved Orache
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Atriplex glabriuscula <b>?</b>, Babington's Orache
Atriplex glabriuscula ? / Babington's Orache
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Atriplex calotheca, Hastate Orache
Atriplex calotheca / Hastate Orache
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Cakile maritima, Sea Rocket
Cakile maritima / Sea Rocket
Brassicaceae / Crucifers
 
 
Carex arenaria, Sand Sedge
Carex arenaria / Sand Sedge
Cyperaceae / Sedge Fam.
 
 
Ammophila arenaria, European Marram Grass, European Beach Grass
Ammophila arenaria / European Marram Grass, European Beach Grass
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
 
 
Leymus arenarius, Sea Lyme Grass
Leymus arenarius / Sea Lyme Grass
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
 
 
Mainly at the coasts of the Mediterranean salt tolerant species have developed which differ from less salt tolerant inland species mainly by thick leaves where they can store sweet water.
Polygonum maritimum, Sea Knotgrass
Polygonum maritimum / Sea Knotgrass
Polygonaceae / Knotweed Fam.
 
 
Lotus cytisoides, Grey Bird's-Foot Trefoil
Lotus cytisoides / Grey Bird's-Foot Trefoil
Fabaceae / Legumes
 
 
Aster tripolium, Sea Aster
Aster tripolium / Sea Aster
Asteraceae / Composite Fam.
 
 
In the interior of the country salty sources are found relatively rarely. Such sites contain often very rare salt plants as the example of Ubstadt is showing:
Apium graveolens, Celery
Apium graveolens / Celery
Apiaceae / Umbellifers
 
 
Apium graveolens, Celery
Apium graveolens / Celery
Apiaceae / Umbellifers
 
 
Apium graveolens, Celery
Apium graveolens / Celery
Apiaceae / Umbellifers
 
 
Very rich of halophytes are some secondary biotopes, e.g. mine dumps of potash mines, which are needed for fertilizer production. An example for it, which in Germany can mainly be found in Northeast Hesse, is the mine dump of pit Hera near Heimboldshausen, which has been abandoned many years ago. In the almost pure potash salt which is collected at the bottom of the dump by the rainwater no plants can grow. The halophytes are growing where the rainwater has sluiced salt on and into the soil around the dump. Unfortunately the mine dump of Heimboldshausen has been fenced in summer 2013, which is unintelligibly for the interested amateur botanist, because before that it obviously hadn't been required for tens of years. But below the mine dump also outside of the fence small numbers of relative many species of salt plants can be found, because there the salt concentration is also high caused by rainwater coming down from the dump.
Biotop

 
 
 

Atriplex prostrata / Spear-Leaved Orache
 
Hymenolobus procumbens, Slenderweed, Oval Purse
Hymenolobus procumbens / Slenderweed, Oval Purse
Brassicaceae / Crucifers
 
 
Hymenolobus procumbens, Slenderweed, Oval Purse
Hymenolobus procumbens / Slenderweed, Oval Purse
Brassicaceae / Crucifers
 
 
Cochlearia danica, Danish Scurvy-Grass
Cochlearia danica / Danish Scurvy-Grass
Brassicaceae / Crucifers
 
 
Gypsophila perfoliata, Perfoliate Gypsophila
Gypsophila perfoliata / Perfoliate Gypsophila
Caryophyllaceae / Campion Fam.
 
 
Gypsophila perfoliata, Perfoliate Gypsophila
Gypsophila perfoliata / Perfoliate Gypsophila
Caryophyllaceae / Campion Fam.
 
 
Gypsophila scorzonerifolia, Garden Baby's Breath
Gypsophila scorzonerifolia / Garden Baby's Breath
Caryophyllaceae / Campion Fam.
 
 
Spergularia media, Greater Sea Spurrey
Spergularia media / Greater Sea Spurrey
Caryophyllaceae / Campion Fam.
 
 
Spergularia salina, Lesser Sea Spurrey
Spergularia salina / Lesser Sea Spurrey
Caryophyllaceae / Campion Fam.
 
 
Aster tripolium, Sea Aster
Aster tripolium / Sea Aster
Asteraceae / Composite Fam.
 
 
Atriplex prostrata, Spear-Leaved Orache
Atriplex prostrata / Spear-Leaved Orache
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Suaeda maritima, Annual Sea Blite
Suaeda maritima / Annual Sea Blite
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Salicornia ramosissima, Prostrate Glasswort
Salicornia ramosissima / Prostrate Glasswort
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Chenopodium rubrum, Red Goosefoot
Chenopodium rubrum / Red Goosefoot
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Puccinellia distans, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass
Puccinellia distans / Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
 
 
Puccinellia distans, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass
Puccinellia distans / Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
 
 
Below some examples of salt-tolerating plants can be found, which obviously don't need the salty soil, because they are also occurring at many other sites. Directly below the mine dump of the former pit Hera the Wild Carrot is striking in summer. Also the Common Centaury and the White Melilot are occurring there in big numbers on rather salted soil.
Daucus carota subsp. carota, Wild Carrot, Queen Anne's Lace
Daucus carota subsp. carota / Wild Carrot, Queen Anne's Lace
Apiaceae / Umbellifers
 
 
Centaurium erythraea, Common Centaury
Centaurium erythraea / Common Centaury
Gentianaceae / Gentian Fam.
 
 
Melilotus albus, White Melilot
Melilotus albus / White Melilot
Fabaceae / Legumes
 
 
Below some photos of the mine dump of Neuhof south of Fulda which is still in operation can be seen. Salt plants are hardly accessible there, due to fences around it.
Biotop

 
Biotop

 
Biotop

 
Biotop

 
Also in the Southwest German and Alsatian Rhine valley potash mining is or has been available, an example is the old mine dump of Buggingen, where e.g. the following salt tolerating plants can be found:
Salicornia europaea, Common Glasswort
Salicornia europaea / Common Glasswort
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Spergularia salina, Lesser Sea Spurrey
Spergularia salina / Lesser Sea Spurrey
Caryophyllaceae / Campion Fam.
 
 
Calamagrostis epigejos, Wood Small Reed
Calamagrostis epigejos / Wood Small Reed
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
 
 
Also in the surrounding of the artificial salines at spas as e.g. Bad Nauheim, Bad Kreuznach or Bad Dürkheim salt plants are colonizing.
Atriplex prostrata, Spear-Leaved Orache
Atriplex prostrata / Spear-Leaved Orache
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Atriplex prostrata, Spear-Leaved Orache
Atriplex prostrata / Spear-Leaved Orache
Chenopodiaceae / Goosefoot Fam.
 
 
Plantago maritima, Sea Plantain
Plantago maritima / Sea Plantain
Plantaginaceae / Plantain Fam.
 
 
Spergularia salina, Lesser Sea Spurrey
Spergularia salina / Lesser Sea Spurrey
Caryophyllaceae / Campion Fam.
 
 
Puccinellia distans, Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass
Puccinellia distans / Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
 
 

 
Along roadsides of motorways and roads, often in mountain ranges, which are salted in winter, salt loving or salt tolerating plants have spread hundreds of kilometers from the North Sea to Southern Germany. Also Lesser Sea Spurrey Spergularia salina and Reflexed Saltmarsh Grass Puccinellia distans, which are shown in the row above, can not rarely be found at those roadsides.
Cochlearia danica, Danish Scurvy-Grass
Cochlearia danica / Danish Scurvy-Grass
Brassicaceae / Crucifers
 
 
Cochlearia danica, Danish Scurvy-Grass
Cochlearia danica / Danish Scurvy-Grass
Brassicaceae / Crucifers
 
 
Cochlearia danica, Danish Scurvy-Grass
Cochlearia danica / Danish Scurvy-Grass
Brassicaceae / Crucifers
 
 
Naturally this list of salt loving and salt tolerating plants isn't complete. It will be continued on occasion.  
 

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10-Mar-18

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