[Science News] - 1200 meadow sages (Salvia pratensis) reintroduced into two nature reserves

Wed 8 May

As part of the European LIFE Connexions project, Meise Botanic Garden has recently started the multiplication of plant species threatened with extinction in Belgium in order to reintroduce them where they once existed. LIFE is the European funding program aimed at supporting nature, environment, and climate policy.

The project aims at restoring 500 ha of limestone grasslands in Wallonia and Northern France by connecting these habitats and their characteristic plant species. Environmental restoration is carried out by the main project partners (Natagora and the Department of Nature and Forests of the Walloon Region) in order to prepare optimal conditions for the species to be reintroduced. 

Meise Botanic Garden is contributing to this project by reintroducing 14 plant species that are characteristic of limestone grasslands in different areas of the Meuse basin. Five species will be reintroduced as plug plants (Gentiana cruciata, Gentianopsis ciliata, Pulsatilla vulgaris, Salvia pratensis, and Trifolium montanum) and 9 species (including some orchids) will be sown in situ. The first species (Salvia pratensis) has just been transplanted (1200 young rosettes) in two nature reserves in the region of Dinant.

Thanks to the work of Meise Botanic Garden, threatened plant species will once again be able to thrive in habitats from which they had disappeared.