Merendera montana

Discussion in 'Botany Photo of the Day Submissions' started by pvaraujo, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. pvaraujo

    pvaraujo Member

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    Porto - Portugal
    The sight in early autumn of these stalkless flowers sprouting directly from the parched earth amidst dried-up grasses is quite wonderful. In spite of appearances, these plants do have leaves - but they will only show up much later, in spring. There are a number of synonyms for Merendera montana (among them Merendera pyrenaica and Colchicum bulbocodioides) and I don't know which one is currently accepted. Whatever its name, it only occurs in mountain pastures and other high open places in the Iberian Peninsula. These photos were taken at the end of September in Serra do Alvão, in the northern half of Portugal.

    I am including a third photograph to give you an idea of the kind of environment these flowers were found in. The granite outcrop is quite typical of the region; heather, gorse and bracken are to be seen in the foreground; the pine tree is a small Pinus sylvestris (which, although not native, has been planted extensively since the 19th century on our northern mountains and is now naturalized).

    Paulo Araújo

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2008

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