The Monkey Orchid: Orchis simia rare in the UK but more abundant in Italy
Two weeks ago I returned from tutoring a painting holiday at Casa Bezzia in the tiny hamlet of Pietracervara in the Parma Appenines.
In early May just across the road from the studio we found ourselves in an exquisite flower meadow with a backdrop of mountains. From my previous visit in November I had no idea how colourful it would be in May.
Blue Gromwell: Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum
The bordering copses were spangled with bright blue Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum (Blue Gromwell) and wild strawberry flowers, and we found rocky crevices filled with cushions of pale magenta Saponaria ocymoides (Rock soapwort).
Rock Soapwort at Ponte Lecca
Rock Soapwort near Pietracervara
Rock Soapwort: Saponaria ocymoides
The following pictures show just some of the colourful plants we saw during our delightful stay. Do let me know if you find mistakes in the identification of the various species as my days as a Botany student are a little distant.
Sainfoin: Onobrychis viciifoliaoften cultivated for fodder
Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium dubium
Polygala amara near Pietracervara
Believe this image and the one below are of the Lady Orchid: Orchis purpurea
All found in the meadow and grassland at Pietracervara
Trifolium pratense with it’s pearls of dew looking just as beautiful as the rarer plants!
So on the one rainy day we had wild flowers to paint!
A “clock” of Tragapogon pratensis larger than the Dandelion and known as Goat’s Beard
The goats beard is also called Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon as its flowers open early and close at midday.
Tragapogon pratensis fully open
More clocks in the meadow.
www.casabezzia.com or contact
Sylvia Bell at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel. +39 052571370