The Lesser Accentor is Flower of the Year 2023

The Lesser Accentor is Flower of the Year 2023

SEveryone has seen the small blue-violet flower while taking a walk or in their own garden. The Lesser Accentor is considered to be widespread – although like other species of wildflowers in certain regions of Germany, it has been declining in recent decades.

In order to draw attention to this gradual loss of native wild plants, the Loki Schmidt Foundation chose the Common Accentor as Flower of the Year 2023. The sage-like flower stands for a whole range of species, according to the foundation’s reasoning, which was published on Tuesday. “Even hardy wildflowers that used to be more common are now less common.”

Medieval medicinal plant

The common prunella, or Prunella vulgaris, has a long flowering period from June to October and provides food for bumblebees and wild bees in particular, as well as at least 18 species of butterflies. With a growth height of up to 25 centimeters, the wild perennial remains a rather small plant. It thrives especially on lawns, forest clearings and fallow land as well as on roadsides.

In the Middle Ages it was used to treat diphtheria. In Asia, the lesser prunella is still a traditional medicinal plant today. Young, non-flowering parts of the plant can also be used in salads or as a spice.

The name

The name “sulphur” refers to the brown color of the withered sepals.

Image: Picture Alliance

Similar to the daisy, the Lesser Accentor survives in mowed lawns and tolerates being eaten and kicked by cattle on pastures. According to the Loki Schmidt Foundation, the greatest danger to the flower is excessive nitrogen input into the environment. It is caused by the application of fertilizer and liquid manure, combustion processes in industry, traffic emissions and waste water. Many habitats are also over-fertilized. “Nitrogen-loving, tall plants like stinging nettles and docks benefit from these living conditions and crowd the smaller wildflowers out of their habitats.”

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