Image of creeping azalea

Image of creeping azalea


Slo.: polegla alpska azalea - syn.: Azalea procumbens - Habitat: Alpine pasture on a high mountain pass, almost flat terrain, calcareous ground but with some silicate, acid ground (growing next to Vaccinium gaultherioides and other acid soil lovers), dry place, full sun, exposed to strong winds and direct rain, average precipitations ~ 3.000 mm/year, average temperature 0-2 deg C, elevation 1.920 m (6.300 feet), alpine phytogeographical region. - Substratum: soil. - Comment: Loiseleuria procumbens is a rare plant in Slovenia. This is because it grows only at high mountain elevations on places where soil contains at least some silicate. In addition, it thrives only on mountain ridges, where snow early disappears because it is blown away by strong winds. And such places are rare in Slovenia. - This beautiful plant blooms very early on Mangart flats. While on windswept ridges the snow already melts away, the rest of the mountain is still under snow cover and hence more difficult to access. For many years I've been always too late at the place where I took these pictures and the plants have been already in seeds. I've never seen it in its full beauty with hundreds and hundreds of densely packed pink flowers. - This year the Julian Alps were covered with exceptionally thick snow cover and I hoped that the plant will be late in blooming. But, the situation was almost the same when I came to the place. Nevertheless, the nature was slightly more graceful to me this time. I found only a single tiny pink flower still in good shape. I spent an hour searching in the vicinity for some more flowers, but everything was in vain. The flower photographed was definitely the last one for 2014. - Ref.: (1) M.A. Fischer, W. Adler, K. Oswald, Exkursionsflora sterreich Liechtenstein, Sdtirol, LO Landesmuseen, Linz, Austria (2005), p 662. (2) A. Martini et all., Mala Flora Slovenije, Tehnina Zaloba Slovenije (2007) (in Slovene), p 485. (3) D. Aeschimann, K. Lauber, D.M. Moser, J.P. Theurillat, Flora Alpina, Vol. 1., Haupt (2004), p 620.

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2014 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy
Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy
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