Dune Habitat

Due to Rostock’s proximity to the coast and natural dune habitats, we find it important to present coastal plants in their natural context. In the dune habitat section, you can discover coastal plants grouped by their specific habitat niche, whereby the characteristic Baltic coastline habitats are the focus. While this area was established in the early 1950s with the aim of showing students a typical habitat that is widespread in the Rostock region along with its characteristic and common species, today it represents a habitat and ecosystem that has become very rare in the Baltic region, and which contains many regionally endangered plant species. A coastal dune complex in a botanical garden is also a rarity; in Germany, such a complex can only be found in the gardens of Kiel, Hamburg and Bremen.

With the help and active support of the Geobotany Working Group of NABU Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, renovation was undertaken on the Rostock coastal habitat area starting in autumn 2013. The grey dune sands, which had developed on site over the past 60 years, were reused and the yellow dune area was expanded, using sand from the sediment zone off the coast of Warnemünde. The dune section now includes the subhabitats foredune and yellow dune, grey and fixed dune, stone beach, dune slack and sandy salt marsh.

In-depth information about this habitat area and the topic is provided here.

View from the dune summit into the grey dune (left) with creeping willow (Salix repens) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and into the yellow dune (right) with marram grass (Ammophila arenaria)
Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum)

Here you can find one of the rare species of the Baltic coast, the sea holly (Eryngium maritimum), which also serves as the emblems of the Botanical Garden and its volunteer association. The growth form and inflorescence of the unusually blue plant suggests that it is part of the aster family (Asteraceae). On closer inspection, however, their affiliation with the carrot family (Apiaceae) becomes clear. This drought tolerant species, which can be found on yellow dunes all the way to the Mediterranean, is a federally protected species!