5 of the most beautiful wildflowers you can find in the Alps this summer.
Perhaps, like us, you have been in denial for the past week – but the ski lifts really have stopped whirring, and another incredible winter season has come to an end. There are, however, silver linings to be found amongst the slipping away of the ski season; as spring’s final smattering of snowfall begins to melt from the slopes, trickling and tumbling its way down through the alpine valleys below, it’s time for the Alps’ second, breathtaking act. The thick wintertime curtain is being pulled away – meaning we can feast our eyes on the majestic summer scene that’s been lying beneath. Thick green pastures are beginning to emerge, wildflower meadows are popping out along the valley walls – all now bursting with colour. Alpine fauna and flora – some of the Alps’ star characters – are about to rear their heads amidst the snowmelt once again: here are 5 of the most beautiful wildflowers you will be able to find in the Alps this summer.
Arnica Montana (Mountain Arnica)
A recognisable name (if you’re one for topical gels) – mountain arnica is known for its bright yellow petals and medicinal properties, through which it found its name. The Latin word ‘Arnica’ is derived from the Greek word for bear – ‘arnos’. Mountain bears have been known to seek out the flower’s anti inflammatory properties when in discomfort – rubbing and soothing their aching joints with the leaves of the flower.
Gentiana Asclepiadea (Willow Gentiana)
Look out for this flower’s beautiful silky blue tint – the flowers are said to resemble the eyes of a snake – hence the Latin “asclepiadeus” – the name of a particular genus of snake.
Leontopodium Alpinum (Edelweiss)
The iconic Alpine flower with a name that sounds better sung than said. Its name derives from the German words for noble and white – and thanks in no small part to the Sound of Music, it’s become the symbol of the Alps, tempting hikers up into the hills to catch a glimpse of its famous petals, shaped like a lion’s paw (from which it gets its Latin name). Fair warning though – Edelweiss is a protected flower, meaning it’s illegal to pick them; perhaps just a glimpse is enough.
Lilium Martagon – (Martagon Lily)
The Martagon Lily is another delightful flower with another fascinating name. Martagon is the French adoption of a Turkish word for turban – and when looking at the shape of its exquisitely curved petals, it’s easy to see why it garnered the epithet.
Viola Calcarata (Alpine Pansy)
These gorgeous flowers are common to Alpine meadows – but are imbued with rich historical meaning. The word Pansy is derived from the Latin ‘pendere’ or ‘to think’ (which, of course, gives us the root of the word ponder). In Victorian times, when a knowledge of the meaning of certain flowers was more commonplace, to gift a Pansy to someone was a way of telling them you were thinking about them. The Alpine Pansy is perhaps one of the easier to spot flowers, so look out for its delightful violet hue.
If you do find yourself back in the Alps this summer – whether you’re in search of all the summertime beauty the mountains have to offer, or simply out of sheer denial of the season being over – there are myriad delights to found in all the bright Alpine meadows that are now coming to life. One of the many delightful things about the Alps is how sharply it can switch its character between the seasons – at Consensio, we are committed to protecting this wonderful natural environment as best we can. It’s why we committed to our sustainability pledges last year, and have evolved our practices as a company in order to lower our emissions and carbon footprint. For Consensio, its imperative that to ensure that we are doing out bit to help protect the future of this incredible landscape – one that we are so proud to call our home.