Leucojum aestivum L. - Summer snowflake
This species occurs on the plain and in the hills. It is related to different habitats characterized by substrata rich in water, at least in the plant growth period. It is typically related to highly or partially hygrophilous woodland such as black alder woods, acidophil ash woods or willow areas. The species is also present in grasses and herbs, such as different types of sedges (Carex elata, C. acutiformis, C. acuta, etc.), Phragmites beds and improved meadows, only temporarily waterlogged, such as Lolium and Poa sylvicola meadows.
The species is present in the central Mediterranean, from France to Turkey, and the Middle East. In spite of its name, the species flowers in spring, one or two months later than the co-genre L. vernum, from the end of April to the end of May. The fully grown specimens are characterized by a subspherical bulb – 3 cm of diameter. All the glossy dark green leaves are basal, linear, canaliculated and they are 30-40 cm long. The trigonal floriferous scape has got an inflorescence composed of 3-8 flowers of about 15 mm of diameter, whose white tepals have a white spot at the apex.
In the Friuli lowland, the damp meadows, where the species used to vegetate, have been almost destroyed and now it is present only in fringe areas, near the ditches and the woods, in the association Leucojo-Fraxinetum and in the alliance Alno-Padion.
G. Bolognini ©