Beautiful Flowers You Can Find in the Italian Alps
There is a large variation of gorgeous flowers that flourish in the Alpine tundra. As our Alpine Hotel is located next to the mountains, everyday, we spot many of these flora blooming in the Corteno Valley and the Italian Alps. Many of the plants that grow in these conditions have adapted to the low temperatures, dryness and short growing season. The Alps is home to one of the most beautifully diverse flora and fauna that you cannot find anywhere else in the world – other than flowers, you can even find unique Alpine animals such as the chamois and the alpine marmot. The Alps is a truly picturesque place to visit, so without further ado, below are examples of some of the beautiful flora you can find in the Italian Alps.
A beautiful shade of ‘True blue’, the Alpine Forget-Me-Not flourishes among the high altitudes of the Alps (700-2800 meters). It is a symbol of true love – with the hope that the recipient of the flower will not forget the giver. The story of how the flower acquired its name is through German legend – the story goes – the flower reminded the Lord to “Forget-me-not” as it still did not have a name, the God named it by the last words that he heard which is now the name of the blossom. The Alpine Forget-Me-Not is a dainty, herbaceous perennial plant with elliptical blunt tips and a pleasant scent. You can find these flowers flourishing around the months of July and August.
Edelweiss – the white, woolly flower that adorns the alpine mountains and the tundras; a symbol of the Alps. You may have recognised this flower through the song from the ‘Sound of Music’, where the lyrics are dedicated to the alpine flower. Edelweiss is part of the daisy and sunflower family, thriving in high altitudes (heights of 1,500 to 3,000 meters) around rock and limestone. They were once very abundant, but are now becoming rare due to the changing climate – you are most likely to find these flowers around the months of July to September. Edelweiss symbolises love and adventure – if someone gives this to another person, it is interpreted as a profession of love as it requires effort to retrieve this flower. It is now a highly protected flower by various countries where it blossoms, making it illegal to pick one of these white beauties.
Gentians are trumpet-shaped flowers that you can find in the Alps, it is popular in rock gardens as it naturally blossoms in the stony mountains of the Alps. These flowers are hardy, allowing it to grow sufficiently through full sun or partial shade. You can recognise these flowers through their deep blue or azure petals. The Gentian flower is a common ingredient in distilled beverages like aperitifs and liqueurs, for example, Gentian is used for the Italian drink ‘Aperol’. The flower also has medicinal properties as first discovered by King Gentius of Illyria (Modern day Albania) who was named after. The flower symbolises passion, charm and sweetness.
Fragrant and ornamental, the rhododendrons are common mountain flowers that flourish in coniferous and temperate forests on the slopes of the Alps. From Greek origins, the name of the flower came from the words, ‘Rodon’ – Rose, and Dendron – Tree; which means ‘Rose Tree’. Rhododendrons are a cluster of pinkish-red, bell-shaped flowers that grow over limestone in the summer. It is considered a pioneer species so during the warm months of June and July, it covers fields into a sea of pink blossom.
The Alpine Snowbell or the ‘Blue Moonwort’ is one of the first plants you will see bloom after the melting of snow. It is a beautiful, bell-shaped flower with violet, blue petals – a typical sign for the emergence of Spring. The Alpine Snowbell is comfortable from 500 to 3,000 meters above sea level and prefers to grow in woods, damp pastures and rocky landscapes.
The glacial buttercup is a endangered, perennial herb that prospers in the tundra climate of the Alps. It is a common mountain flower with rounded petals that shift from white to pink during the summer. It flourishes in areas where there is moist ground, mostly from the snow-bed sites with icy meltwater - so high up in the alps for about 1,800 meters above sea level. The glacial buttercup is a symbol of joy, charm and childishness.
So if you are travelling to the Alps soon, keep an eye out for these beautiful flowers and take great photos before their blossoming season is over. Another thing to look out for are the Porcini Mushrooms you can find in the Alps, which are delicacies for many Italian Dishes.
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