Endangered Plants NL – De Rode Lijst

The list of threatened and endangered species in the Netherlands is extensive. I recently contacted a City Ecologist to find out more about the legality of foraging in this country and he kindly forwarded the list to me. Unfortunately, for non Dutchies like me, the common names are in Duth and the Latin names are not alphabetical. One day I shall try to work my way through the list and translate the common names. Many of the endangered plants will be of little interest to city foragers, but some will be, so before you decide to pick anything please look up the Latin name and check its status. I did find this list in English regarding endangered plants across Europe. I don’t feel it’s very comprehensive and it doesn’t mention The Netherlands, but it may give an indication of what is threatened.

A few plants which instantly stand out to me are Artemisia absinthe (Wormwood), Juniperis communis (Juniper) and Viola canina (Dog violet). Also Pennyroyal, Plantago media (a type of plantain), White Mint, Pulsatilla, Lesser Skullcap, Betonie, a type of Red Clover, Wild Strawberry, a type of Bedstraw and several types of Lady’s Mantle are on the list. Some are foraging favorites, others are wonderful herbs but all must be avoided and protected. Also, some species of fern, cling to existence on the local canal sides and must be protected. I’m not a fern eater myself but know that some international foragers seek them out.

I grow Wormwood in my geveltuin (pavement garden). It provides me with a great harvest every year and perhaps its seeds will spread the plant elsewhere. Growing-on your own rare plants, from seed or nursery plants, is a way to ensure you can use what you like.

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