The flora of the Montagne della Duchessa

Photo Alpine aster Aster alpinus

Altogether 1005 entities (species and subspecies) belonging to 81 families and 418 genera have been registered. The families that present a greater number of entities are in order the Asteraceae (128), the Fabaceae (82), the Poaceae (72), the Caryophyllaceae (66), the Lamiaceae (55), the Brassicaceae (51), the Rosaceae (48), Orchidaceae (40) and Apiaceae (39), while the most represented genera are in the order Hieracium (26), Trifolium (19), Silene (18), Orchis (14), Ranunculus (13) , Veronica (13), Campanula (12), Carex (11) and Cerastium (11), from the framework of the Plan and Reserve Regulations. In 1993 the first extensive study of the flora showed 502 census floristic entities, of which about 12% included very rare and endemic species on a national scale. On the north side of the Murolungo it is easy to see, along with the Ligustrum lucidum, the Allium lineare, typical species of the Alpine areas. A very rare orchid, the Nigritella widderi, is present on Mount Morrone, in the surfaces exposed to the north.

Around the Duchess Lake there are Ranunculus trichophyllus, various species of Saxifraga, Alchemilla plicatula, Dryopteris villari. If you want to see Astragalus danicus, a very rare species, it is necessary to climb Monte Cava. Along the Vallone di Teve there are other endemic species such as Hieracium virgaurea, Carex pilosa, Carex umbrosa and the orchid Corallorhiza trifida. The rare vegetation of the breccias consolidated in Festuca dimorpha is very extensive. The forest vegetation is represented by pure or mixed beech woods, mixed oak woods with a prevalence of pubescent oak or Turkey oak, mixed oaks with oak species with manna ash and Italian maple.

It is possible to admire in the Vallone di Teve holm oaks (Quercus ilex) centenarians clinging to the rocks, in addition to the presence of the rare Birch (Betula pendula Roth), evidence of an older forest vegetation linked to the last glacial cycles and the recolonization of the mixed temperate forest.