Monday, May 30, 2011

Record Breaking High Altitude Plant

A flowering plant has recently been discovered at 4,505m (14,776 feet) in Switzerland. No flowering plant has ever been found at a higher altitude in Europe, announced the University of Bale.

The flower, Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) was found 40m below the summit Dom in the Valais Canton. Scientists believe that seeds from the plant were transported to this altitude by birds.

Last week while ascending the Puig de la Portella Gran in the Pyrenees, I found the same plant near the summit at 2,765m (9,069 feet). It was growing in a steep gully from the arrete leading to the summit. There were several specimins of the plant but little else in flower at this altitude.

Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) Eastern Pyrennes 24/04/2011

Back in 2008 I found Purple Saxifrage in the Devil's Kitchen, Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia.

Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) Snowdonia April 2008

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