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Species of the flooded marsh environments
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In the marshes, in particular the freshwater ones, there are many water plant species, either with submerged, anchored to the bottom or floating roots, and leaves either submerged or just floating above water level. These plants are called hydrophytes, literally "water plants". Among these species stand the Frogbit, the Water Knotweed, different species of Potamogeton Pondweeds and Ranunculus, and White Water Lilies.
Together with these species there are others that, though having submerged roots, have stems and leaves standing above water, and these are called helophytes. Together with the Common Marsh Reeds and Broad-leaved Cattail, there are more specific species that grow in narrower sites, like Lesser Water-plantain, Sparganium Erectum and Arrowhead.

 

 

Species living on the edges of water bodies
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These plants live on the edges of wetlands and wet meadows as they need to be flooded and submerged for a certain time but cannot survive all of the year with submerged roots.
The most common species are found also along the countryside ditches, such is the case of lythrum, marshmallow, symphytum officinale, waterhemp. Other, rarer species are found only on the borders of marshes and larger channels: such is the case of butomus umbellatus and Iris Pseudacorus. Lastly, some species are both rare and located only in specific sites, like Euphorbia Palustris or the amazing Leucojum Aestivum, quite common in Punte Alberete.

 

Grass species (woods and glades)
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The many woods in the Park have quite different distinguishing features, depending on the type of soil and humidity. This in turn produces different wood types dominated by different wood species. In addition to the trees, each type of woods is characterised by the many weeds and grass species living in the underbrush or in the glades like the "spiazzate" (wide areas) in the woods.
In the most humid glades it is easy to find aristolochia clematitis or bugula, while in the most arid, sandy terrains in the pine woods we can find Apennine Helianthemum and Echium Vulgare; The lands that are somewhere in-between these extremes host common species like Bellis Perennis together with others like Rampion or Scoparia Dulcis.

 

Bush species in the marsh dunes environments
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The marsh shrubwoods, flooded for most of the time, are in a way the mangroves of the Po Delta Park; indeed they resemble mangroves because of the tangled stems and the shrubs rooted in mud, an adaptation needed to survive.
The dominant species is Salix Caprea, a staple of the freshwater marshes landscape, that represents the transition from the reed grove to the dry areas. Near to it stands the Alder Buckthorn, the viburnum and Salix Purpurea (in the damper areas), and also rhamnus cathartica, cornus sanguinea, pyrus pyraster and genista tinctoria. These last two species are slightly halotolerant and are found also at the margins of the brackish water marshes.

 

Bush species in the woods environments
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The underbrush and the edge of the woods are often protected by thick brush groves, often featuring thorny bushes. They represent an important living environment for several animal species and they protect the woods, contributing to the preservation of the microclimate, that is the particular temeprature and humidity conditions of forest patches. These are mesophile species, with beautiful flowers and shiny berries, often found among the hedges separating crop fields or at the borders of motorways: common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), prunus spinolsa, wild rose, berberis vulgaris, euonymus europaeus. The arid woods, instead, are home to less commons pecies like the rosa sempervirens, ruscus aculeatus (cladodes), coronilla emerus.

 

Species of the dune environments
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The plants found in the beaches and dunes, called psammophiles, that is "sand lovers", show peculiar adaptations. These plants have sturdy, durable leaves to resist the abrasive power of sand carried by the wind, leaf hair to screen them from evaporation during summer, long roots and fleshy leaves that collect and store water that would otherwise disappear rapidly in summer.
The first line features the annual species Sea Rocket, while the mobile dunes are home to Salsola Kali and Calystegia Soldanella and then, as the permanent dunes grow closer, cyberus kalli, medicago marina, amethyst sea holly.

 

Protected species
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Spontaneous flora is subject to preservation measures in the whole territory of the Park. It is forbidden to pick up or damage the plants in ANY site of the park (valleys, marshes, pine woods, dunes). The only exception to this rule is the permit to collect some of the underbrush products, under strict rules and control. Forty-one species of plant enjoy an even higher level of protection, as per the regulation under art. 4 of the Regional Law no.2/77; the most important among these species are: Cistus Incanus, Epipactis Palustris, Leucojum Aestivum, European White Water Lily, Rhamnus Alaternus, various Limonium species and Orchids.
Two species are Protected by Directive 92/43/EEC, Annex II, Salicornia Veneta and Hibiscus Syriacus.

 

Orchids
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Orchids do not live just in the Equatorial rainforests: scores of species are part of the spontaneous flora of this area, in which they represent some of the most beautiful flowers.
Most (32) of the species protected by aforementioned Regional Law no. 2/77 belong to the orchids family.
Among them the most important are those linked to the marsh and wet meadows environments: Epipactis palustris, anacamptis laxiflora, anacamptis palustris. Other species live in the woods, like the cute Cephalanthera Longifolia and Caladenia Melanema, or in the meadows and the banks, like for example Orchis Tridentata, Green-veined Orchid, Bee Orchid.

 

 

 

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