Particular biotopes four steps from home

Despite temperatures not too favorable of the past week and the incessant rains, the orchids weren’t been frightened and Saturday, after a patrol tour, unexpectedly, but with my big joy, some orchids have already begun to revive the meadows with their colors.
foto Massimo Morandin

First of all, revealing the queen of spring in my area, Orchis mascula (Early-purple Orchid) (L.) L., Fl. Suec., ed. 2: 310 (1755) that presumably will be followed by Listera ovata (Common Twayblade), Neottia nidus-avis (Bird’s nest Orchid) and Cephalanthera longifolia (Narrow-leaved Helleborine).
The area of discovery presents a particular habitat consists of a small and narrow valley crossed by a small river always fed, where the sun, in spring/summer and for few hours, lights in the morning the north side facing south and in the evening the south side facing north.

foto Massimo Morandin

This particular area has allowed me to do surprisingly unexpected encounters, first of all with the Paeonia officinalis (left), rare plant throughout Italy and even more to altitundes where I found it.
Other unexpected encounter with Pinguicola alpina (below), also rare carnivore plant which is usually found at greater altitudes.
foto Massimo Morandin
Interestingly in orchids, is the evolution of the development of the plant to bring it to bloom. In this case it’s interesting to note that in less than a square meter, can be found the same orchid species with completely different stages of development, from those with flower spikes still enclosed by bracts gradually coming to those who have already opened its first 5 or 6 flowers at the base.
Here are some examples of the above mentioned:
foto Massimo Morandin
You can see, from left to right, Orchis mascula in various stages of development from “precocius” in the foreground to the “retarded” in the background, Listera ovata and Cephalanthera longifolia.

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