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Those who truly take in their surroundings will see that Texel has very diverse flora. Each landscape has its own flowers and plants. Sometimes common but often rarer. Take the orchid, for instance. A rarity in most parts of the Netherlands but on Texel you may even find them in the hard shoulder! And what about the salt tolerant plants in the tidal marshes and inlets which are frequently submerged?
A plant that is salt tolerant is the common glasswort. It grows in large quantities in De Slufter, on the tidal marshes and in the Mokbaai. Salt tolerant plants can process the salt from seawater without dehydrating. Besides glasswort, the inlets are also home to sea lavender with its splendid purple flowers and the sea aster. Should you move further into the dunes then the vegetation will change.
Mainly sand reed, blue sea holly and European sea rocket grow on the sand bar. In the young dune valleys behind the sand bar is where you’ll find elderberry and sea-buckthorn and the older dunes provide fertile soil for rarer species such as the orchid. There is a more diverse vegetation in the older dunes on the north and south banks. Mostly crowberry and polypodium grow on the north bank whilst the south bank attracts more crustose lichen. The dune planes are mostly covered in heather. Grassland can be found in many varieties.
It can simply be greener. This is because there are considerable differences between the various grasslands of Texel. Agricultural grassland consists mainly of perennial rye-grass and weeds such as chickweed and rumex. This correlates with the quantity of nitrogen in the soil. The dry grasslands are also home to more unique types of grass and lots of moss. You can also find plants such as the rattle and the harebell. Nevertheless, rare wild plants can also be found on cultivates fields.
…is a good example of such plants. The orchid certainly flourishes in pastures where fertilisers aren’t used. The months of May till July are pre-eminently the best moths to enjoy the beautifully blossoming orchids. Other “wild” bulbous plants can, surprisingly, be found in the forest.
Not wild but in the wild
Not exactly a wild plant but one that can be found in large numbers in the wild: the snowdrop. They were brought to the island for trade purposes in the fifties. The farmers of Texel grew the snowdrops on a large scale in the pine forest of Texel, because this environment is conducive to the plant’s growth. Even now, every January the forest is coloured white thanks to the tens of thousands of snowdrops that are still there.
Want to know more about the wild plants on Texel? Ramble into nature! The Facebook page 'Wilde Planten op Texel' (Wild Plants on Texel) will introduce you to many of the species.