Some Neophytes in Hesse
'Neophytic' and 'adventive plants' are wild plants, which were not originally growing there, but immigrated or were introduced since 1492. 'Neophytic' means those of the immigrated or introduced plants, which are able to adapt to the climatic and other conditions, and last permanently. The more general term 'adventive plant' is used for any plant which arrives newly, even if it isn't able to last. Plants which immigrated or have been introduced earlier than 1492 are called 'archaeophytes', but these are not the theme of this page.
Some findings of outstanding neophytes from Hesse are presented here. Frequent neophytes as Solidago, Amaranthus etc. aren't mentioned here anymore because these have already been shown in Neophytes in the 'Kurpfalz', the presentation on the region around Mannheim and Heidelberg, at which Hesse is bordering in the North and East.
Pimpinella peregrina, Southern Burnet Saxifrage
Pimpinella peregrina / Southern Burnet Saxifrage
Apiaceae / Umbellifers



Left: The Southern Burnet Saxifrage Pimpinella peregrina, which originates from the western Mediterranean, is currently about to establish in southern Germany. It is containd in seed mixtures for greening and fixing of road slopes, and might have spread out of such sites. The photo has been taken at Frankfurt-Kalbach.


Right: The Giant Hogweed Heracleum mantegazzianum, which has been introduced from the Caucasus as an ornamental plant, grows taller than a man and if it is touched it can cause burnings on the skin. For this reason people combat against stems of this species which ran wild. The photo has been taken at a roadside near Darmstadt.
Heracleum mantegazzianum, Giant Hogweed
Heracleum mantegazzianum / Giant Hogweed
Apiaceae / Umbellifers
Linaria dalmatica, Dalmatian Toadflax
Linaria dalmatica / Dalmatian Toadflax
Scrophulariaceae / Figwort Fam.



Left: The Dalmatian Toadflax Linaria dalmatica is more than a meter tall, it comes from the eastern Mediterranean, and colonizes on an inland dune near Seeheim-Jugenheim.


Right: Most probably the Himalayan Fountain Grass Pennisetum flaccidum which comes from East Asia and Australia has been sowed in order to fix the slope of a retaining basin near Seeheim-Jugenheim years ago. At the inner slope of the basin it is still available, but in between also in big numbers on waste land on the other side of a rural road.
Pennisetum flaccidum, Himalayan Fountain Grass
Pennisetum flaccidum / Himalayan Fountain Grass
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
The Evening Primroses occuring here are either introduced from America, or are hybrids between the introduced American species which developed here. Near a railway track in Frankfurt-Louisa the Red-Tips Evening Primrose Oenothera angustissima is growing. Most probably Scandinavian Evening Primrose Oenothera scandinavica ? has been rediscovered in Hanau-Wolfgang.
Oenothera angustissima, Red-Tips Evening Primrose
Oenothera angustissima / Red-Tips Evening Primrose
Onagraceae / Willowherb Fam.

Oenothera scandinavica <b>?</b>, Scandinavian Evening Primrose
Oenothera scandinavica ? / Scandinavian Evening Primrose
Onagraceae / Willowherb Fam.
Meconopsis cambrica, Welsh Poppy
Meconopsis cambrica / Welsh Poppy
Papaveraceae / Poppy Fam.



Left: Near Gorxheim-Trösel and also near Unterflockenbach in the foremost part of the Odenwald grows Welsh Poppy Meconopsis cambrica at paths in the wood. Most probably it is a garden escape.


Right: At the roadside near Trösel in the foremost part of the Odenwald Alpine Penny-Cress Thlaspi caerulescens is occurring, an alpine plant of which the seed might have found its way to here by a car.
Thlaspi caerulescens, Alpine Penny-Cress
Thlaspi caerulescens / Alpine Penny-Cress
Brassicaceae / Crucifers





Both neophytes shown in this row are found in nature reserve 'Kuehkopf-Knoblochsaue' near Stockstadt on the Rhine.
Lindernia dubia, Yellowseed False Pimpernel
Lindernia dubia / Yellowseed False Pimpernel
Scrophulariaceae / Figwort Fam.
  Origin: America.
Clematis viticella, Italian Clematis
Clematis viticella / Italian Clematis
Ranunculaceae / Buttercup Fam.
  Origin: Mediterranean.
Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Green Ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica / Green Ash
Oleaceae / Ash Fam.
The Green Ash which once had been introduced from North America had to be combated already in the nature reserve Kühkopf-Knoblochsaue because it reproduces better than many native trees.
Aralia elata, Japanese Angelica Tree
Aralia elata / Japanese Angelica Tree
Araliaceae / Ivy Fam.
At the edge of a wood above Unterflockenbach a big colony of Japanese Angelica Tree Aralia elata can be found. Most probably the first plant or seed
Aralia elata, Japanese Angelica Tree
Aralia elata / Japanese Angelica Tree
Araliaceae / Ivy Fam.
has been thrown out of a garden. Its origin is Eastern Asia.
Tetradium daniellii, Bee Bee Tree, Korean Evodia
Tetradium daniellii / Bee Bee Tree, Korean Evodia
Rutaceae / Rue Fam.
Tetradium daniellii, Bee Bee Tree, Korean Evodia
Tetradium daniellii / Bee Bee Tree, Korean Evodia
Rutaceae / Rue Fam.



In a soil depot some young trees of Bee Bee Tree Tetradium daniellii have been found which might have come up from seed. The origin of the tree is Asia.
Cyperus eragrostis, Pale Galingale
Cyperus eragrostis / Pale Galingale
Cyperaceae / Sedge Fam.



Left: Several times Pale Galingale Cyperus eragrostis has been reported at two different retarding basins near Bickenbach, but it appears not in every year.
In the woods, parks and at the Main shore of Frankfurt several plants can be found which have run wild out of gardens and parks:
Cotoneaster divaricatus, Spreading Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster divaricatus / Spreading Cotoneaster
Rosaceae / Rose Fam.
Euonymus fortunei, Fortune's Spindle
Euonymus fortunei / Fortune's Spindle
Celastraceae / Spindle Fam.
Hedera colchica, Georgian Ivy
Hedera colchica / Georgian Ivy
Araliaceae / Ivy Fam.
Salix eriocephala, Missouri River Willow, Yellow Willow
Salix eriocephala / Missouri River Willow, Yellow Willow
Salicaceae / Willow Fam.
Salix alba x babylonica, Golden Weeping Willow
Salix alba x babylonica / Golden Weeping Willow
= Salix x sepulcralis
Salicaceae / Willow Fam.
Salix matsudana, Chinese Willow
Salix matsudana / Chinese Willow
Salicaceae / Willow Fam.
Tellima grandiflora, Fringe Cups
Tellima grandiflora / Fringe Cups
Saxifragaceae / Saxifrage Fam.
Epimedium perralderianum, Barren-Wort
Epimedium perralderianum / Barren-Wort
Berberidaceae / Barberry Fam.
Bromus sitchensis, Alaska Brome
Bromus sitchensis / Alaska Brome
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
Puschkinia scilloides, Russian Snowdrop
Puschkinia scilloides / Russian Snowdrop
Liliaceae / Lily Fam.
In the open country near Heusenstamm a population of Russian Snowdrop Puschkinia scilloides was surviving for years. The plant comes from the mountains of Middle East, is frequently grown in parks, and most probably also here the first ones have been planted.
Typha laxmannii, Laxmann's Bulrush
Typha laxmannii / Laxmann's Bulrush
Typhaceae / Bulrush Fam.
Laxmann's Bulrush Typha laxmannii, introduced from Asia, settles at a former clay pit near Hochheim am Main.
Epimedium alpinum, Barren-Wort
Epimedium alpinum / Barren-Wort
Berberidaceae / Barberry Fam.
Already since about 200 years a population of the Barren-Wort Epimedium alpinum is growing at a pond in the wood near Offenbach. It reproduces steadily. Most probably it has been planted long ago. It is an alpine plant.
The population of Russian Violet Viola suavis, which originates from Caucasus, at a roadside near Babenhausen is most probably caused by garden rubbish. Since years it survives and increases.
Viola suavis, Russian Violet
Viola suavis / Russian Violet
Violaceae / Violet Fam.
Ornithogalum boucheanum, Bouché's Star of Bethlehem
Ornithogalum boucheanum / Bouché's Star of Bethlehem
Liliaceae / Lily Fam.
A big population of Bouché's Star of Bethlehem Ornithogalum boucheanum which originates from Eastern Europe was growing in a park at Babenhausen for tens of years, unfortunately I never saw it in flower. In 2016 I couldn't find any plant of it anymore.

Together with the introduction of Scot's Pine Pinus sylvestris centuries ago the Pipsissewa Chimaphila umbellata has been introduced from the Nordic countries. There are still occurrences in the region of Babenhausen.
Chimaphila umbellata, Pipsissewa
Chimaphila umbellata / Pipsissewa
Pyrolaceae / Wintergreen Fam.



Right: In the Spessart mountains there is a wet slope where the American Wild Iris Iris versicolor is growing together with the native Yellow Iris and Common Reed.
Iris versicolor, Wild Iris
Iris versicolor / Wild Iris
Iridaceae / Iris Fam.
Impatiens capensis, Orange Jewelweed, Spotted Touch-me-Not
Impatiens capensis / Orange Jewelweed, Spotted Touch-me-Not
Balsaminaceae / Balsam Fam.



At several places on the banks of the Lahn below Marburg the Orange Jewelweed Impatiens capensis has been seen, which originates from North America. At least in a riparian forest near Gießen it grows numerously and stable, together with the frequent Indian Balsam Impatiens glandulifera which has been indroduced from the Himalaya. Impatiens capensis is looking similar to the native Touch me not Impatiens noli-tangere, but has red blooms.
Impatiens glandulifera, Indian Balsam
Impatiens glandulifera / Indian Balsam
Balsaminaceae / Balsam Fam.
Bromus madritensis, Compact Brome
Bromus madritensis / Compact Brome
Poaceae / Grass Fam.
Vitis riparia, Riverbank Grape, Frost Grape
Vitis riparia / Riverbank Grape, Frost Grape
Vitaceae / Grape-Vine Fam.
Picea sitchensis, Sitka Spruce
Picea sitchensis / Sitka Spruce
Pinaceae / Pine Fam.
Also 'set free' plants usually used in aquariums and garden ponds can be found in our nature, partly even in nature reserves, which is an accusable adulteration of the native flora, because there is the danger that the introduced plants are ousting the native flora. At small ponds of an old quarry near Wetter in Central Hesse Crassula helmsii from Australie / New Zealand and Hydrocotyle verticillata from South America have been found. Also the occurrence of the Four-Leaf Clover Marsilea quadrifolia there, which is a very rare native fern growing at wet places, is most probably of non-natural origin.
In a pond near Frankfurt, which belongs to a soil depot, the African Curly-Leaved Waterweed Lagarosiphon major is occurring.
Crassula helmsii, Swamp Stonecrop, New Zealand Pygmyweed
Crassula helmsii / Swamp Stonecrop, New Zealand Pygmyweed
Crassulaceae / Stonecrop Fam.
Hydrocotyle verticillata, Shield Pennywort, Whorled Pennywort
Hydrocotyle verticillata / Shield Pennywort, Whorled Pennywort
Apiaceae / Umbellifers
Lagarosiphon major, African Curly-Leaved Waterweed
Lagarosiphon major / African Curly-Leaved Waterweed
Hydrocharitaceae / Frogbit Fam.
Wolffia columbiana, Columbian Water-Meal
Wolffia columbiana / Columbian Water-Meal
Lemnaceae / Duckweed Fam.





As its name says Wolffia columbiana is of South-American origin and has most probably been introduced together with other plants for aquariums or garden ponds. In the last years it has appeared time and again in ponds en masse, mainly along the Rhine but also near Großkrotzenburg not far from the Main. It is probable that it is spread here by water birds.
Myriophyllum aquaticum, Parrot Feather Water Milfoil
Myriophyllum aquaticum / Parrot Feather Water Milfoil
Haloragaceae / Water Milfoil Fam.



In the Knüll mountains West of Bad Hersfeld some trees and bushes were found which ran wild:
Populus trichocarpa, Black Cottonwood, Western Balsam Poplar
Populus trichocarpa / Black Cottonwood, Western Balsam Poplar
Salicaceae / Willow Fam.
Cotoneaster bullatus, Hollyberry Cotoneaster
Cotoneaster bullatus / Hollyberry Cotoneaster
Rosaceae / Rose Fam.
Naturally this list of neophytic plants of Hesse is far from completeness. It will be continued on occasion. There are similar sites on some neophytes in Rheinland-Pfalz, ... in North Rhine-Westphalia, ... in (Southern) Baden, ... in Württemberg, ... in Hesse, and the more extensive presentation on the neophytes of the 'Kurpfalz', the region around Mannheim and Heidelberg.  

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