Together with the end of summer, the first season of seed gathering for the establishment of seed bank in LIFE FOR SEEDS project ends as well. Quite intensive summer period with diverse weather delighted us with discoveries of some rare grasslands species. Here we mention those that are particularly interesting to our field team.
Finds of a characteristic species of extensive dry meadows cheered us up on semi-natural dry grasslands with orchids – Potentilla rupestris on Natura 2000 sites Marindol, Bela krajina and Goričko. In the latter, we also found Jasione montana, Saxifraga bulbifera and Petrorhagia prolifera, with all three inhabiting dry, acidic and sandy habitats. Numerous specimens of orchids from genus Ophrys were noticed on some well-managed meadows, especially in areas Haloze and Vrbina: Ophrys sphegodes, Ophrys holosericea and Ophrys apifera.
We were delighted to find larger number of otherwise rare Pinguicula vulgaris on a meadow in Natura 2000 site Julian Alps, where habitat type of dry grasslands with orchids is mixing with alkaline fens. Pinguicula is one of Slovenia’s naturally present carnivorous plants.
We found very rare, protected and almost vanished Gentiana acaulis in Natura 2000 site Smrekovško pogorje on species-rich Nardus grasslands. After targeted but very time-consuming search of almost invisible plant remains, we even managed to gather its seeds for our seed bank.
Several plants of Arnica montana and Carex pilulifera were found on some Nardus grasslands and also a larger population of Gentiana pannonica in the midst of numerous blueberry gatherers in Pohorje.
In the group of habitat types of turloughs, the discovery of Nardus stricta surprised us pleasantly on one of our donor plots on Planinsko polje, as well as Epipactis palustris and a larger number of otherwise rare and overlooked Carex pulicaris.
All mentioned plant species are disappearing in Europe because of land use intensification. A special permission for collecting seeds of protected plant species was obtained for our team in order to be able to implement one of our project goals: seed bank establishment. Harming and gathering protected plants or their parts is otherwise prohibited.