What can I say?
Walking in the Alps is like walking round one huge garden.
Everywhere is so lush and green and yellow and blue and purple and. . . . .
There are the common, well known wild flowers like buttercups and dandelions, but in such abundance, making huge swathes of colour in the mountain pastures.
Then there are the individual flowers, some we might call weeds, but here they more than hold there own amongst the more exotic plants like orchids. Talking of orchids, we were delighted to have found two different types; I have no idea what they were but one was spotty and the other wasn’t! Our bubble was burst when we were told that there were actually seven different types of orchid growing in the area! Hmmph!
There were so many different flowers to find; it seemed like every different walk had different flowers growing.
Here are a selection of the best photos of the Alpine plants we saw. I have done my best to identify them, but I would be grateful to know if I have any wrong. Please click on the gallery to view the images full size or just hover to see the captions.
This little blue plant looks to me like Alpine French Honeysuckle (Hedysarum hedysaroids) according to my Blacks Wild Flower book. If so it is is one of the most valuable fodder plants for grazing cattle and wild game. It is very rich in protein, but can suffer if overgrazing occurs. To prevent this happening farmers will often produce hay from pastures in the plant’s natural habitat. I am not sure why it is known as honeysuckle as it is a member of the pea family.
|This lovely plant looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth, but it is actually carnivorous, trapping insects on its sticky leaves.|
Then there were the ferns, lichens and seedheads. . .
We had a lovely time seeing how many different types of flowers we could photograph and I hope my knowledge of European wild flowers is gradually improving.
Please come back to view Part 4 – The Creatures we met, large and small.