Nature: Carnation is “Flower of the Year 2024”

The common carnation is the “Flower of the Year 2024”.

Nature: Carnation is “Flower of the Year 2024”

The common carnation is the “Flower of the Year 2024”. With this election, the Loki Schmidt Foundation would like to call for the protection of native wild plants and the preservation of flower-rich lean grasslands and salt marshes. “We must finally stop the decline of native wild plants in our intensively used landscape,” said Axel Jahn, managing director of the Loki Schmidt Foundation, in Hamburg. The nutrient loads from agriculture and industry, the overly intensive use and care threatened not only the common grass, but also numerous other plant and animal species.

According to the foundation, the common thrush or sea thrush (Armeria maritima) is a real all-rounder: it tolerates both poor and salty soils or soils contaminated with heavy metals and is an important food source for insects. During its long flowering period from May to October, it provides nectar and pollen for wild bees and butterflies such as the thrush. But although it occurs on poor grasslands, salt marshes, heavy metal fields and on roadsides, its populations are declining, it was said. It is now on the warning list of the Red List of Endangered Plants.

The low, cushion-like growth with narrow and pointed leaves is reminiscent of grass, but appearances are deceptive. Armeria maritima is not a carnation either. As early as mid-May, numerous pink inflorescences growing from the cushion indicate that this is a beautiful wildflower. According to the foundation, grass grass also grows particularly well on green roofs, which can ensure a better climate, especially in cities.

The biologist Loki Schmidt (1919-2010), wife of former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (1918-2015), launched the campaign in 1980. The Little Braunelle was the “Flower of the Year 2023”.