The view of the Apennines changes with the changing of the seasons, the colors alternate and dress the mountains with the white of the snow, then with the green of the grass just popped and then add pink and blue brushstrokes, the colors of the spring blooms . From winter to spring, the Apennines gradually let the snow melt and make daffodil, gentianelle and primrose bloom.
The spring inside the National Park of the Apennines offers beautiful natural landscapes, where you can observe the snow on the highest peaks where it still coexists, in surprising contrast, with the verdant expanses of grass on the valleys.
To make excursions in this period, among the paths of the park, trekking, bike or horse riding, offers the opportunity to admire the most rare and beautiful flowers, like those of primroses and gentianelle. These are particular protected species that are widespread in areas with a mountain climate.
The Apennine primrose
The Apennine primrose is a pretty little flower with bright pink petals. It lives exclusively on 1500 and 2000 meters of altitude. The plant is only a few centimeters high, from 3 to 8 cm, and is perennial: it hides under the snow and peeks out as soon as it melts in the spring. The green leathery oval leaves with a serrated edge are arranged to form a basal rosette and are slightly covered with hair. The Apennine primrose is a protected species, its collection is forbidden. It is commonly known as “bear’s ear”.
Gentianella is another small plant typical of the highest mountain areas, growing around altitudes of 2000 and 3000 meters. It is a perennial herbaceous plant, with a short stem (between 5 and 20 cm.), belonging to the Gentinaceae family. It blooms between May and July with characteristic blue-shaped calyx flowers with light green hues. The intense color is useful for the plant to protect itself from ultraviolet rays that are very strong in the mountainous areas. At the base of the flowers, the leaves of the gentianella form a rosette.
This species is particularly known, since ancient times, for many beneficial and healing properties. The gentian, in fact, stimulates digestion, has antipyretic and anti-anemic properties, as it favors the production of white blood cells and therefore increases the immune defense. It also has carminative, vermifugal, choleretic and antifermentative properties, as it is capable of killing intestinal bacteria. The active ingredients responsible for these benefits are variously present in flowers, leaves and roots, therefore, the gentianella, cultivated to extract these substances, is entirely used. The plant spontaneously present within the National Park of the Apennines is obviously a protected species and its collection is forbidden.