Plants in the Biosphere Reserve Bliesgau

In the northern, urban areas, the dominant biotopes, along with colony biotopes, are the colline, the mesophile beech forests in the upper variegated sandstone along with marshy valley floors.
The defining elements of the southern, rural areas are the semi-arid meadows, expansive flat grasslands (essentially sage-oat grass meadows), older fields of orchards, orchids and woodruff beech forests on shell limestone.
25 of the 50 species of orchid indigenous to Germany can be found here.


Orchid                                                                           late spider-orchid

Most of the eight species of orchid that are highly endangered nationally and reach the edge of their natural range in south-western Germany occur in the region’s semi-arid meadows in several populations that evince high numbers of individual specimens. The populations of the following are especially significant:
•    Man orchid (Aceras anthropophorum)
•    Pyramidal -orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
•    Lizard orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)
•    Late spider orchid (Ophrys holoserica) and
•  Monkey orchid (Orchis simia), which has recently obviously expanded in Saar-Bliesgau.

The vast majority of German sites of the sub-Mediterranean-Atlantic chalk milkwort (Polygala calcarea) are found in Saar-Blies-Gau. In Germany the plant is otherwise found only in Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate.
The pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) also has a number of dense populations in Bliesgau, so that at this time the otherwise unappealing semi-arid meadows are covered by their purple blossoms.
The two-leafed squill (Scilla bifolia) can be found for example in large quantities near Ormesheim. Outside of the protected area collecting small amounts of ramson, or bear leek (Allium ursinum) for home use is allowed.

Farn- und Blütenpflanzen im Biosphärenreservat (Stand 2006)

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