Euphrasia marchesettii Wettst
It is a plant 20-25 cm high, with small white flowers streaked with red which bloom in late summer, from August to October, creating white clouds in the brightest and most open parts of the bogs.
It was discovered at the end of 1800 in the Lisert coastal marshes, near Monfalcone. It is an endemic species which is particularly present in Friuli-Venezia Giulia and in East Veneto.
It characterizes the alkaline fens (association Erucastrum-Schoenetum in the project area) and the most hydric and open areas of the Molinia grassland on the plain and in the hills. It is the only annual species among all the alkaline fens plants: its growth cycle lasts only a few weeks when it produces a large quantity of very small seeds. The species therefore depends on open and sunny habitats and hardly ever tollerate dead biomass and scrub encroachment.
At present, the most important aspect for its survival in the project area is the necessity of periodical mowing and the removal of vegetable biomass to guarantee space and light for the seedling growth. The species has indeed disappeared completely from various sites both on the plain and on the hills because of the lack of mowing or of the fires which were periodically set.
Besides, this species, unlike the other endemic species of the peat bogs, may grow again in the areas where suitable conditions are re-created, even if with number variations typical of the one-year species.
The species is included in the Annex II of the Council Directive 92/43/EEC.
G. Bolognini ©