Included here is a zone that extends from the northwest and northern parts of the Iberian Peninsula (including the Pyrenees) north to include Great Britain and Ireland and on to the western shores of Norway as far north as the islands of Hitra and Froga. On the European mainland the Armorican Massif, the Aquitanian and Parisian Basins, the Central Massif, and most of the German lowlands are included.

Atlantic European Sand Dunes

Atlantic dune systems are largely composed of mobile dune with Ammophila arenaria Marram, fixed dune grasslands with Festuca rubra, and dune slacks with Salix repens. There may also be dune heath present with Calluna vulgaris. These largely natural systems support vast numbers of flowering plants. Some of the endemics include Astragalus baionensis [found in France and Spain], Linaria arenaria [found in semi-fixed dunes in France and northwest Spain], Linaria thymifolia [found in France] (Fabaceae), Arabis brownii (Brassicaceae), Carex trinervis [dune slacks] (Cyperaceae), Dianthus gallicus Jersey pink [found in France and Spain] (Caryophyllaceae), Gentianella amarella subsp. septentrionalis  (Gentianaceae), Omphalodes littoralis [found in dune slacks in France and Spain] (Boraginaceae) and the two orchids Dactylorhiza majalis ssp. cambrensis Welsh marsh orchid [dune slacks] and Epipactis leptochila var. dunensis dune helleborine [dune slacks] (Orchidaceae), but none of these can be described as widespread within the BioProvince.


Lomba, A., Alves, P. & Honrada, J. 2008. Endemic sand dune vegetation of the northwest Iberian Peninsula: diversity, dynamics, and significance for bioindication and monitoring of coastal landscapes. Journal of Coastal Research, 24: 113-121.

Lousley, J. E. 1971. Flora of the Isles of Scilly. David and Charles. Newton Abbot.

Polunin, O. & Walters, M. 1985. A guide to the vegetation of Britain and Europe. Oxford University Press.