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A calcicole, calciphyte or calciphile is a plant that thrives in lime rich soil.[1][2] The word is derived from the Latin 'to dwell on chalk'. Under acidic conditions, aluminium becomes more soluble and phosphate less. As a consequence, calcicoles grown on acidic soils often develop the symptoms of aluminium toxicity, i.e. necrosis, and phosphate deficiency, i.e. anthocyanosis (reddening of the leaves) and stunting.

A plant that thrives in acid soils is known as a calcifuge.

A plant thriving on sand (which may be acidic or calcic) is termed psammophilic or arenaceous (see also arenite).

Examples of calcicole plants[edit]


  1. ^ Anon. "Calcicole". The World Dictionary. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  2. ^ Anon. "Calciphile". Merriam Webster free dictionary. Merriam Webster. Retrieved 18 February 2012.