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Field Wild Herbs

Colorful companions of great value

The Administration Office has been supporting the propagation and reintroduction of selected native wild herbs for several years. In horticultural cultivation, regional mother stocks of wild herbs are multiplied and the newly obtained seeds are reintroduced to selected grain fields in cooperation with agricultural enterprises. The aim is to promote the (re-)spread of native wild herbs.

Propagation of wild herbs in the Biosphere Region

Originally, field wild herbs originate in the eastern Mediterranean region. There, the cultivation of cereal began around 10,000 years ago. Together with the various types of grain, the wild herbs also spread. Due to their origin, most types of wild herbs love heat and sunlight. They have adapted perfectly to life in the field and require a light cereal cover. By regularly turning over the soil, their seeds can germinate again every year, but also periodic fallowing supports their development. In Germany, there are more than 180 different field wild herbs, including well-known species such as poppy or cornflower. In Bavaria, almost 2/3 of these species are now endangered. This is due to the increasingly effective seed cleaning and the more efficient cultivation of fields: due to increased weed control, the use of large amounts of fertilizer, improved seed cleaning and the cultivation of new varieties of cereals that grow densely, there are hardly any wild herbs left in our fields. Unfortunately, they are often seen as “weeds” these days. However, with proper management, wild herbs do not pose a problem in the field. A profitable harvest and ecologically valuable wild herbs can be well combined.

Wild & Cultivated: The starting signal for the protection of field wild herbs

The three-year INTEREG project “Wild and Cultivated – Sowing Regional Diversity” kicked off the protection of wild field herbs in the Berchtesgadener Land region. The project was financed within the framework of the EU funding program Interreg V Austria Bavaria 2014-2020. Thus, since 2016, regional mother stocks of arable wild herbs have been propagated in horticultural cultivation and the newly obtained seeds have been reintroduced to cereal fields together with agricultural businesses. The goal is to promote the reintroduction of native wild herbs. Volunteers also contribute to the propagation of wild herbs by growing plants in their gardens or on their balconies and harvesting the seeds. Together with committed farmers, the seeds obtained are spread again on the grain fields in the district.

Wild herbs for agriculture

Do you have fields where we could spread and propagate native field wild herbs? Or do you already have wild herbs in your fields that can be harvested? Please feel free to contact us!
Blüte der Ackerröte

Blue field madder

The German name "Ackerröte" refers to its former use in the dyeing of red fabrics.

Blüte des Frauenspiegel

Large Venus's looking glass

The Venus’ looking glas has a white set off flower sap mark. Together with the three-divided branches, it resembles the symbol for women.

Blüte des Gefurchten Feldsalats

Broad-fruited cornsalad

The broad-fruited cornsalad (furrowd lamb’s lettuce) is related to the common lamb's lettuce, which we appreciate in a salad.

Blüte der Kornblume


Cornflowers are the most common companions of wheat, barley & Co, this is how they got their name.

Blüte der Kamille mit Wildbiene


Chamomile is one of the best known medicinal herbs. The cultivated form is grown on a large scale in Germany.

Blüte des Rittersporn

Field Larkspur

The name " larkspur " is explained by the shape of the flower, in which a hollow protuberance, a spur, is visible.

Blüte des Stiefmütterchen

Field Pansy

The German name Stiefmütterchen (little stepmother) derives from the arrangement of the petals. The center one represents the stepmother, the following two the daughters and the last two the stepdaughters.

Mohnblumen Blüte

Red poppy

The edible poppy seeds do not come from the red poppy, but from the related opium poppy.

Portrait Sabine Pinterits

Your contact person

Sabine Pinterits

Landscape ecology and biodiversity

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