Fauna and Flora

Sulphurweed (photo credit : Cap Atlantique)

Biology / ecology

The Sulphurweed (Peucedanum officinale) is a perennial plant that can measure between 50 cm and 1 m and flowers in July-August. Belonging to the same family as fennel, it can easily be confused with the latter, if it is not for the absence of aniseed smell of its leaves.

This plant appreciates alkaline or slightly salty soils that are why it is found at the edge or on the slopes of salt marshes.

This species is one of the few host plants for an extremely rare moth, the Gortyna borelii. Listed in Appendices II and IV of the Habitats Directive, the Gortyna borelii is protected in France. It lays its eggs specifically on certain species of Peucedanum, which makes it particularly vulnerable. While developing, the larvae will feed only on their host plant.

Sulphurweed (photo credit : Cap Atlantique)


Protection and conservation status

The Sulphurweed is protected and registered on the red list of vascular plants of the Region of Pays de la Loire.

A prefectural biotope protection order aimed at concomitantly preserving the Gortyna borelii and the Sulphurweed in Loire-Atlantique is being implemented by the State services. This decree targets several sectors, including certain areas around the salt marshes at Guérande.

Distribution and status of populations on Natura 2000 sites

The Sulfurweed is rare and localized in France.

On the LIFE Sallina territory, the species is only present on the edge and in the Guérande salt marshes.

Conservation objectives / threats / actions planned in LIFE

Feedback shows that the maintenance of the species is compatible with certain work carried out in salt marshes such as mowing or thin deposits of salt mud during striping (peripheral cleaning) carried out periodically in salt marshes.

The restoration work carried out as part of LIFE Sallina will take into account the presence of the species in order to guarantee its maintenance in the sectors where it is present.