species of the week #33- Iberis boppardensis

The Bopparder Iberis is a subspecies of the Iberis linfolia. It is one of the few endemic plants in Rhineland-Palatinate. “The Boppard Iberis is only found in the Bopparder Hamm, a famous wine-growing area on the Rhine.

distribution status extremly rare
Remainings Boppard, Botanical Gardens Mainz, Koblenz, Bonn
last sigting in rhineland-palatinate 2015
habitat vineyard sites with slate subsoil
threat scrub, abandonment of vineyards, eutrophication

The Bopparder Iberis grows between 30 and 60 centimeters high. In contrast to similar-looking bowflowers, some of its leaves have one or two teeth on either side. The petals are light pinkish red to fading white. The fruiting stage is initially short clusters and lengthens during ripening. The siliques are between six and eight millimeters long.

The Boppard Iberis grows exclusively on stony rubble rich sites near Boppard on the Rhine. There, situated in a wide arc of the Rhine, a dry and warm local climate prevails in the south-facing vineyards.
Due to the limited distribution of the Boppard Iberis in the Boppard area, the region has a special responsibility to protect this species. The subspecies is highly endangered by scrub encroachment on its few growing places on slate rubble on steep slopes of the Rhine below Boppard. The single individuals at the most important habitat have decreased from 1200 specimens in 1989 to only 27 plants at the last census in 2019, at one of the four known habitats the population has completely died out. To save the plant from extinction, it is cultivated in the botanical gardens of the universities of Bonn, Koblenz and Mainz. Protective measures for the remaining populations are urgently needed.

Politically necessary:
– Promotion of intensified care measures
– Securing the locations through municipal land purchase
– Financing of a monitoring

Picture: Dr. Heinz Bengart, Boppard

Get to the other species of the week here