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Development of native plant species and subspecies

Updated 13.1.2023

Native species, or local species, form an early mode of cultivating current plants. Over a long period of time, they have adapted to the local environmental conditions. For example, the flavour, appearance and frost resistance of native species are properties that differ from widely cultivated commercial species.

Native species are important considering biodiversity, and they may be valuable in terms of cultural history. In addition, native species act as genetic material for species suitable for cultivation, as the stocks of native species are genetically broad.

The valuation of the properties of native species may rise to a new level as the environmental conditions are changing: global warming or requirements for more efficient use of soil nutrients demand that new types of species are processed.

The list of plant varieties in Finland published by Finnish Food Authority included 30 native species in 2020 and 34 in 2022. The approved seed growing area of native species was 20–70 hectares in 2010–2021. Red clover covers most of this area.

Approved seed growing areas of native species

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Description of the indicator

The indicator of native plant species and subspecies helps to evaluate the genetic diversity of production plants.  The aim is to safeguard the genetic diversity of plant species. This indicator monitors the area of seed production intended for the sale of native species and represents how the use of native species has spread. Finland also includes such registered native species whose seeds are not produced for commercial purposes and that are not included in the area monitored by the indicator.  All native species are listed in the list of plant varieties maintained by Finnish Food Authority.

The information is obtained from cultivation inspection data of the Finnish Food Authority and its list of plant varieties.

This is one of the national impact indicators of the 2014–2020 Rural Development Programme for Mainland Finland.

The indicator will next be updated in spring 2023.