In Fredriksdal’s botanic garden you can experience the wild flora of Skåne – or, more correctly, a wide selection of Skåne’s unique world of plants. You can see, feel (carefully), smell and take photos of plants that you didn’t even know existed.
The plant diversity is the greatest in Sweden, as species from north and south, east and west all meet in Skåne. But there are also the greatest number of red-listed species – species that will become extinct in our part of the world if no action is taken.
Fredriksdal works hard to save some of Skåne’s most threatened wild plants. In amongst the more well-known flowers such as the oxeye daisy and wolf’s bane, the botanic garden also includes a number of unique and rare plants. Since 2015, Fredriksdal has had a collaboration with the County Administrative Board, Lund’s Botanic Association and Lund University’s Botanical Garden. The goal is to chart the species that are at the greatest risk of extinction and then to build up a backup at Fredriksdal that will ensure a future countryside that is rich in flowers. As we gradually cultivate more seeds, the plants can be returned to the wild, and we can spread them to new locations.
In the garden’s landscape section, you can take a walk through several different types of Scanian landscape – meadows, woods and pasturelands that have developed over the course of eighty years. You can experience a whole province during just one visit.
Some of the plants that the botanic garden preserves.
Corn buttercup (Ranunculus arvensis)
Red-listed as vulnerable. A field weed that has declined radically and only been found in one location in Skåne. Since 2016, Fredriksdal and the County Administrative Board have sown this plant at a new location in Skåne in order to preserve it for future generations.
Narrow fruited corn salad (Valerianella dentata)
Red-listed as vulnerable. A field weed that grows in Skåne and on the islands of Öland and Gotland. At present grows only at three locations in Skåne. Seeds were collected near Mölle in 2016 and the plant thrives at Fredriksdal. In 2017 there were enough seeds for sowing at a new location in Skåne.
Ball mustard (Neslia paniculata)
Red-listed as endangered. A field weed that has more or less disappeared from Skåne. In the 1970s it grew at more than 150 locations but in 2016 it was not found anywhere. A unique find in Sjöbo in 2017 meant that Fredriksdal could collect some seeds. At present we hope to succeed in producing enough seeds to be able to spread the plant back into its natural environment.
Sharpleaf cancerwort (Kickxia elatine)
Protected and red-listed as endangered. A field weed that only grows in a few locations in south-west Skåne and on the islands of Öland and Gotland.
Linearleaf snapdragon (Misopates orontium)
Protected and red-listed as near-threatened. A field weed that is now very uncommon in the wild. The species disappeared from the flora of Skåne for a few years but due to the fact that the seeds of the plant can survive for so long in the soil, it was rediscovered in 1995 in Lerhamn, north of Helsingborg, where it had grown previously. After the soil had been disturbed the seeds began to grow again.
Trailing St John’s wort (Hypercium humifisum)
Protected and red-listed as endangered. The plant can grow as a weed in sandy fields and along paths tramped by cattle in unfertilized pastures. The trailing St John’s wort does not like how much of the province’s landscape is used today and the plant has disappeared from two-thirds of the locations where it grew in the mid-20th century.
Wolf’s bane (Arnica montana)
Red-listed as vulnerable. A plant that is characteristic of traditional meadows and pastures. Wolf’s bane has been used as a medicinal plant and it is still available in health-food shops today. It can be found in many locations but the trend is going in the wrong direction. In a period of just 15 years, wolf’s bane has disappeared from half of the locations where it used to grow.
Catsfoot (Antennaria diocia)
A small plant that used to be common in nutrient-poor pastures and meadows. It is now one of those plants that are in most rapid decline in Skåne. At Fredriksdal the species is cultivated from seeds from one of the locations where it is still abundant in the wild. The plant’s flowerheads are reminiscent of cats’ paws.
Pepper-saxifrage (Silaum silaus)
Protected and red-listed as endangered. A meadow plant that is extremely rare and now found only in Skåne. It has been growing at Fredriksdal since 2015. In an experiment to determine in which environments the plants thrive best, the plants are grown in different types of meadows at Fredriksdal.
Marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe)
Protected and red-listed as vulnerable. This plant grows in unfertilized and well managed meadows and pasturelands. It is undergoing a rapid decline along with changes in agriculture, with its natural habitats becoming increasingly rare. The lovely little butterfly, the Alcon blue, is completely dependent on this gentian. At Fredriksdal we naturally want to contribute to protecting the marsh gentian so that both the plant and the butterfly can thrive for the future.
Globeflower (Trollius europaeus)
Protected in Skåne. A meadow plant that is native to northern Sweden but that has spread further south due to the benefits for it of historical meadow management. The plant has declined markedly in Skåne in modern times as there are not many meadows remaining. In 2017, Fredriksdal gathered in seeds in order to spread them on the damp meadows of the open-air museum.
Stinking goosefoot (Chenopodium vulvaria)
Protected and red-listed as endangered. This unremarkable little plant now grows as a weed along streets on the Falsterbo peninsula in the far south of Skåne, and in Mjölby in the province of Östergötland. However, it has now moved in to Fredriksdal for good, producing an abundance of seeds that will be used to spread the species to new as well as former growth locations in Skåne.
Lamb’s succory (Arnoseris minima)
Red-listed as endangered. This little plant used to be common when the poor sandy soil of Skåne was temporarily left as fallow land. It can now be found only in about five locations. There are now a couple of hundred plants of this species along the gable of Hedströms in Fredriksdal’s town quarter. Who knows, maybe the Lamb’s succory can recover in urban environments to compensate for the decline in its natural habitat.