Not Austria Day Four – An Alpine Flower Quiz – The Answers!

Flower meadows outside Obergurgl

Well, Dear Readers, you all outdid yourselves this week, with FEARN, Sarah, Alittlebitoutoffocus and Fran and Bobby Freelove all getting 12/12, so I will have to scatter the gold stars around with complete abandon! I imagine that Mike at Alittlebitoutoffocus is feeling especially relieved, what with him living in Switzerland and all. Thank you all for having a go, and next week I am going to have to come up with something Very Tricky.

Dear Readers, here are the answers to Sunday’s quiz.

Some of these plants are very common, but others are vanishingly rare in the UK.

Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) is limited to a few sites in the Midlands; it needs short, species-rich turf over chalk or limestone, and is often found on ancient earthworks. In the Austria Alps it grows in abundance.

Early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) is not uncommon as orchids go, but it does have very specific requirements: it loves wet, marshy meadows and fens.

Round-headed rampion(Phyteuma orbiculare) is another chalk-lover, found mainly on the South Downs.

Spring gentian (Gentiana verna) is found in two spots of limestone grassland in Upper Teesdale and the Burren in Western Ireland.

Although the UK is an international hotspot for mosses and liverworts, its flora is somewhat impoverished following the Ice Ages, which scoured a lot of our plants from the landscape forever. All the more reason to hang on to what we have, I think.

1) e) Bladder campion (Silene vulgaris)

2)i) Wild thyme (Thymus polytrichus)

3)h) Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

4)g) Early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata)

5) a) Kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria)

6)j) Round-headed rampion (Phyteuma obiculare)

7)c) Melancholy thistle (Cirsium heterophyllum)

8)k) Spring gentian (Gentiana verna)

9)d) Rosebay willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium)

10)l) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

11)b) Red clover (Trifolium pratense)

12)f) Wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum)




3 thoughts on “Not Austria Day Four – An Alpine Flower Quiz – The Answers!

  1. Alittlebitoutoffocus

    Phew! That is a relief. The one that didn’t spring out at me (if you’ll excuse the pun) was the pasqueflower, (though it had to be that one as it was the only one left). The ones I see tend to be white or yellow and much larger. My book lists 5 sorts, the pulsatilla alpina (naturally), the apiifolia, halleri, montana (of course) and the vernalis. I’m heading out for a big walk today where I’m pretty sure I’ll find one to post (later or tomorrow). Thanks for doing the quizzes, they’re obviously going down well. 😊

    1. Bug Woman

      You’re welcome, Mike! Looking forward to the photos of your big walk. I’m pretty sure that is a Bonelli’s warbler in your photos from yesterday too…apparently it has a yellow rump? These little brown warblers can be a nightmare to identify for sure….

  2. Liz Norbury

    I would love to have had a crack at this quiz, but I’ve had to devote every waking hour – including the weekend – to work until this morning, so I’ve only just had a chance to look at it. I wouldn’t have been able to identify round-headed rampion, except by a process of elimination.


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