A calcicole, calciphyte or calciphile is a plant that thrives in lime rich soil. 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
- Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.)
- Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
- Lilac (Syringa)
- Sanguisorba minor
- Some European orchids
- Some succulent plants genera Sansevieria and Titanopsis or cacti genus Thelocactus.
- Calcicolous grasses
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