Not Austria Day Two – An Alpine Flower Quiz!

Flower meadows outside Obergurgl

Dear Readers, on our first day in Austria we would normally take a gentle stroll through the meadows above Obergurgl, before winding through the woods and ending up at the Sahnestuberl for cake. The restaurant’s cat would wander over for a quick scritch behind the ears before taking up her post watching for the next visitor.

This year, the meadows will bloom unseen by us, but no doubt the first haymaking is already underway or planned. They get two harvests in per year, and the Alpine cows look splendid on their diet, as do the Highland coos (further down the valley there are some belted Galloways as well).

Alpine blue cow

Highland cows

What is amazing to me, however, is that most of the meadow flowers in the Alps are not Alpine specialists at all – we can find them at home, or we could if we had better-managed meadows. I am most heartened by people’s enthusiasm for grassland and meadow flowers, but it’s really important in this case to choose native species – many meadow mixes contain a lot of ‘pretty’ plants that are not really adapted for the UK. And let’s not forget that native grasses provide food for many of our butterfly and moth caterpillars.Β 

So, have a look at the Alpine flowers below, and see how many of them you recognise from the UK. As usual, answers in the comments by 5 p.m. on Monday if you would like to be marked, and if you don’t want to be influenced by those who have commented before, go ‘old-school’ and write your answers down first.

Here we go!

Meadow Flowers

Your choices are below. So, if you think plant 1 is kidney vetch, your answer is 1) a).

Good luck!

a) Kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria)

b) Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

c) Melancholy thistle (Cirsium heterophyllum)

d) Rosebay willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium)

e) Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris)

f) Wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum)

g) Early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata)

h) Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

i) Wild thyme (Thymus polytrichus)

j) Round-headed rampion (Phyteuma obiculare)

k) Spring gentian (Gentiana verna)

l) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

 

1)

2)

3) NB these are the seedheads. The flower is very different πŸ™‚

4)

5)

6)

7)

8) This one is an Alpine specialist but can still be found in upland areas in the UK

9)

10)

11)

12)

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Not Austria Day Two – An Alpine Flower Quiz!

  1. Fran & Bobby Freelove

    1, e
    2, i
    3, h
    4, g
    5, a
    6, j
    7, c
    8, k
    9, d
    10, l
    11, b
    12, f
    Sunday mornings wouldn’t be the same without your quiz 😊🀞

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    OK here are my guesses:
    1e, 2i, 3h, 4g, 5a, 6j, 7c, 8k, 9d,10l, 11b, 12f

    Thank you for spending part of your holiday setting a quiz for our entertainment! I hope you enjoy some true holiday-like R&R this fortnight.

    Reply
  3. FEARN

    1, e
    2, i
    3, h
    4, g
    5, a
    6, j
    7, c
    8, k
    9, d
    10, l
    11, b
    12, f

    Having written down my answers I see I am in complete agreement with your earlier respondents! The Round-headed rampion was only identified by default, as it is a novelty for me!

    Reply

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