Parnassia palustris L. - Marsh grass of Parnassus
This species is present in the circumboreal areas and in the mountain chains at lower latitudes up to northern Africa.
It is a unique plant, with various egg- heart-shaped basal leaves, with smooth edges, on 4-5 cm long stalks.The 30-35 cm high flowering stem has got a single leaf without any stalk in the lower half part and a singe flower of 2-2.5 cm of diameter. The latter is characterized by white egg-shaped petals with jutting out nervations and 5 fertile stamina alternated to 5 sterile stamina turned into nectary glands.
The species highly tolerate root anaerobiosis and high calcium concentration, while it does not mind pH; it grows in summer but not much after being cut. It grows in different associations of damp meadows and fens, brooks, springs, alpine pastures with flowing water, from hills to mountains at an altitude of more than 2,000 metres.
It is present in the Resurgence area at an altitude of 10-13 m above sea level, as a relict of the ice age in the alkaline fens (association Erucastro-Schoenetum) in the areas with wet but not flooded soils and consequently covered with compact grass and in periodically flooded areas growing on Schoenus nigricans bushes or directly on a peaty substratum.
G. Bolognini ©