What are neophytes?
Neophytes ("new plants") are plant species that have only arrived in Tyrol since the discovery of America in 1492. In Tyrol, 21 percent of the occurring plant species belong to these neophytes, i.e. almost a quarter of the flora. The neophytes include, among others, the Indian/threatening touch-me-not or the summer lilac (butterfly bush).
Why are neophytes a problem for the flora?
Many neophytes are useful plants and enrich the flora, such as potatoes, pumpkins or tomatoes. However, a few of the neophytes are more competitive than the native flora and tend to displace it. These few, however, present challenges to conservationists. Their mass occurrence leaves no room for ancestral, less competitive species and can lead to unstable banks along waterways, for example. The term "invasive" is usually used here to refer to invasive neophytes, i.e. plants from other continents that are spreading rapidly.
Last updated 08.12.2022