Saturday, August 14, 2010

Alpine wildflowers part 2

 So we saw way too many wildflowers on our hike in the Bernese Oberland to put them all in one post.  So here are a few more.  I thought this one might be some sort of rhododendron and it was.  Rhododendron hirsutum.
This little ball of yellow is called Anke bauli in the local Swiss German dialect, which literally translates as little butterball.  Its Latin name is Trollius europaeus.
This one had a very unique flower and according to the flora at the hut was Silene vulgaris.  According to wikipedia parts of the plant are edible, but I'm not sure I'd rely on wikipedia to know what's edible and what's not.
And everyone needs a sneed.  This weird Dr. Seuss looking thing is an Anemone alpina after it was done flowering.
 The first of the photos below is, I believe, Phyteuma orbiculare.  And the second is Rhinanthus minor.  Both very unusual flowers.  The phyteuma's common name in English is Rampion but in Italian is Raponzolo and may be where Rapunzel got her name in the story.  While Rhinanthus minor is hemi-parasitic (i.e. getting some of its nutrients from neighboring plants) like our Indian paintbrush.
The last three flowers I tracked down with the help of this website about Alpenblume, or Alpine flowers.  It's searchable by color, month and size of blooms.


  1. Wow--amazing landscapes with great plants to match. I love your sneed in particular. Looks like a plant crossing over to the animal kingdom.

  2. Cool wildflowers. The butterball is a wonderful yellow. Would the idea be that Rapunzel had blue-black hair?

  3. It's a good reminder of how crazy latin names are. Looking at these specimens, I marvel at the difficulty in the names, but remember now how weird it was to get to know the natives.

  4. I love the Dr. Seuss anemone, what a fun looking flower! The deep blue Phyteuma is just gorgeous too! You're so lucky to have seen them both in person.

  5. Wow I'm impressed on your plant ID sleuthing. What a marvellous trip you're on! I was just thinking about introducing some of our CA alpines into our enclosed garden area. Have to look into it!