}

June 26, 2007

The Primula of the Alps


Two years ago while botanizing in the Italian Dolomites, I was advised by our friend Ed Buyarski, president of the American Primula Society, that it was too bad that I was going so late (then, late June, and July) since he felt that many of the primula species would be past blooming. So this time, I planned the trip three weeks earlier. Even though I saw many Primula farinosa and a few tattered auriculacastrum types such as very late blooming Primula minima at very high elevations, this time, the earlier date prooved more fruitful. In fact, I think we hit the snowmelt and peak primula blooming period. The only problem at this moment, will be correctly identifing these species. Following, are some images to show you what we found in various passes and peaks in Switzerland.

Primula minima? No, clearly a natural hybrid of P. hirsuta and another auriculacastrum. A crowd of Japanese tourists started gathering around us photographic this tiny jewel. The long lenses and out intense focus made them stop hiking out of curiosity. They didn't speak a word of English, but when I mentioned rare Sakurasoh, they all nodded and smilled...."AAAAhhhhhh ....Sakuraso!!!!)/.click....click click......

A white sport of Primula hirsuta?


Primula hirsuta



Bernina Pass- a natural occuring hybrid at 10,000 ft. Primula x Berninae


Joe photographing Primula latifolia above the Morteratsch glacier on the Diavolezza, Bernina Pass, in the Brudner Alps, Upper Engadine.

Primula latifolia, Near Pontresina, Upper Engadine.


The more common P. farinosa, or one of the Birds-Eye Primoses.


Joe shooting one.


P. hirsuta cross, most likely.


Not sure, P. allionii cross.


P. integrifolia - at Susten Pass, Switzerland.

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