Flora

One of Europe's botanical paradises

Cypripedium calceolus or Lady's slipper orchid | APAM Archive, G. Pallavicini Didascalia [Full screen]

The Marguareis Park hosts an exceptional concentration of botanical species in a relatively small area. Its territory is one of the "botanical paradises" of Europe .. Its secret? The proximity of the Alps to the Mediterranean, the variety of soils and the orientation of the slopes are some of the factors behind this wealth of flowers and vegetation. Here all the environments and their species are represented: woods, grasslands, wetlands, arid areas, cliffs and scree.
The flora check list is impressive: currently there are 1501 species recorded in the Park, almost a quarter of all the Italian flora.

A good part of the protected area is covered by extensive mature woods. The valley bottom in Valle Pesio is well wooded, the most widespread are the chestnut woods, the mixed hardwood woods and the oak woods, which together form the crown of the Certosa di Pesio. The most striking chestnut and, perhaps, even the oldest in the Park is located near Cascina San Michele.

A little higher up we find beeches, used for centuries to obtain firewood: the carthusian monks and villagers have always exploited these woods not only for domestic use but also to supply furnaces, potteries, steam hammers.

As the altitude increases, there are the conifers: Silver fir dominates in Valle Pesio, as seen in the Prel and Buscaiè woods, in the Valle di Carnino the mountain pine is found in the Pineta delle Larzelle. The Upega valley the has larches with the famous Bosco delle Navette.

Endemic and rare species

Gli endemismi sono importantissimi perché presenti esclusivamente in un territorio geograficamente limitato. Si tratta cioè di piante che crescono solo in un luogo e da nessun’altra parte al mondo.

Woods

Marguareis Park's woodland is exceptional and includes broad swathes of seed forests.

Subalpine grasslands and pastures

The alpine pastures have been created by man at the expense of woods and shrubs, which are now regaining ground.

High altitude vegetation

Plants that live in the most inhospitable places. Between rocks and detritus they have to make do with scarce, unstable soil.

"Emile Burnat" Centre for Vegetal Biodiversity

Conservation of botanical wealth, census and monitoring, deepening and updating of knowledge.

Alpine botanical stations

At the foot of the Marguareis there are two Alpine botanical stations: biological reserves for habitat conservation and a collection of rare species at high altitude.