The first rows of coastal dunes function as a natural barriers against floods following sea level rise. Marram grass is here-in a keystone species as its ts matted roots help to stabilise sand dunes and allowing them to grow up. Exotic plant species are currenly invading our coastal dunes, and have a negative impact on the performance of this highly beneficial grass.
Help us mapping these invasives!
South African ragwort or narrow-leaved ragwort is indigineous to southern Africa. It is a perennial herbaceous plant of about 60cm high, with practically hairless stems and leaves. The plant has woody stems and yellow composite flowers are approximately 2.5 cm. The plant arrived in Europe accidently by means of wool transport and flowers as one of the few plant species till mid-winter.
The yucca is also called palm lily, and is originally found in North and Central America. The plants have thick, leathery leaves with a sharp point. They can form large shrubs and get white flowers. Just like ours, the plant grows naturally in dune areas. Yucca can easily propagate vegetatively from pieces of trunk and root. Outside nature areas, the species is mainly found in places where garden waste is dumped.
The hottentot fig belongs to a family of succulents and comes from South Africa. It is adapted to dry environments and forms cushions about 30 centimeters high and a single plant can easily reach a diameter of up to 50 meters. The plant has beautiful striking dark pink or yellow flowers. It was planted in southern Europe as a natural dune fixator, but it soon became apparent that the species is displacing native species through interactions in the soil.