June 27, 2010

Primula in these Alps of the Bernese Oberland

A yellow Primula auricula, growing on the upper slopes of the Eiger, in a damp snow run-off with Ranunculus glacialis. This trip brought us many meadows of this early blooming primrose, and we were very lucky, both because of it being late this season, and because we simply found the populations.

 A light pink form of Primula hirsuta, or it may be a natural cross of P. hirsuta and P. daoensis . Photographed this in the high crocus meadows of First, Bearnese Oberland..

Primula elatior after a freak high elevation snow storm on June 21 - the summer solstice.

Some of the snowy Primula from last weekend's snow on the Eiger. In the back, you can see the famous North Face.

Without the snow a week later, they look much better.

A primula farinosa caught in an early summer snow in the alps.

P. hirsuta

Later in the day, Joe hiked back to our camp, while I decided to go higher - above the cloud line near 12,000 feet. I was rewarded with sunshine, and this amazing scree and alpine meadow full of many primula, gentiana and other plants.

Variations in a population of Primula farinosa on the slopes of the Eiger, near 9,000 ft , growing with many P. auricula and Ranunculus glacialis. Sorry for the irregular type, but I am posting this post live from my iPad.

An impressive yellow P. auricula, the parent of the many fancy auricula primroses we sometimes see in England. In the back, Dryas octopetala and a melting glacier. Nearing the top of the Eiger.

A rare find on a steep ravine - a white Primula auricula

Even more amazing ( it just keeps getting better!) an amazing grouping with at least three different forms of Primula auricula, and some Primula hirsuta natural crosses on the summit of the Piz Gloria. And check out those Saxifraga! If only our alpine troughs could look like this!

A tiny farinose primula growing in a population near the North Face of the Eiger.
Primula hirsuta, during another snow squall near 11,000 feet. I love experiencing snow storms when it is nearly July 1st!  

As we prepare to return home tomorrow, here is a sneak peak of some of the scenes we've been so lucky to have seen here in the Swiss Alps. Tomorrow, my Best of the Best shots, before returning to my regular gardening posts.


  1. Holy Jumpin, good for you for going on such a forey, such beauty in this earths smallest things, precious. Love reading your journey.

  2. What wonderful pictures and fantastic plants.

  3. Fantastic1 Out of this world! How fortunate you are to be able to see this beauty! Thank you for sharing with us1

  4. Loved your series! Aren't the Alps fantastic? Thank you for sharing. It brings to mind all the amazing plants as well as the exquisite mountains. And the food - your mention of cheese recalls the exotic scents..."indescribably delicious". Your vignettes make me want to return soon. How about a map of your travels?


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