Nationalpark Hohe Tauern

Discovering nature
Flora

Larch-stone pine forests, acres of dwarf shrub, colourful mountain meadows, lichens, fungi and an enormous variety of flowers on the scree – discover the most beautiful alpine plants in nature's botanical garden.


A world for specialists

An estimated 3,500 plant species have been found to date in the Hohe Tauern National Park, of which approximate 1,300 ferns and flowering plants. The majority of these plants are protected because they are very rare.  Many are specialists that have adapted perfectly to the extreme climatic and soil conditions and react very sensitively to changes or disruption in their habitat. During the ice ages, only a few of these indigenous species were able to survive on ice-free patches. This created space for vegetal immigrants – discover the rich biodiversity!


Edelweiss

Leontopodium nivale subsp. Alpinum

The edelweiss plant originates from Central Asia. During the ice age, it may have migrated from the Asian steppes to the Alps. The button-like florets and the bracts are protected by the typical white tomentose covering from cold temperatures, drying out and UV radiation. The edelweiss loves sunny, chalky grassy slopes, but also grows in rock crevices. The plant is fully protected regardless of its location.


Glacier buttercup

Ranunculus glacialis

In contrast to the well-known yellow buttercup, the glacier buttercup has delicate white flowers. In the course of its evolution, this plant has adapted perfectly to high-altitude scree. With its onion-like thickened root stock, it attempts to withstand the movement of the scree. The stems that keep protruding from the scree form powerful clumps and thus stabilize the scree.


Gentiana

Gentiana

The gentian family encompasses 300 to 400 species. In the Hohe Tauern National Park, you can find the large, dark blue Bavarian gentian (gentiana bavarica) is just as native as the spring gentian (gentiana verna), which is known locally as the "Schusternagl" (cobbler tack). The small deep blue flower bloom between March and August depending on the altitude. The Clusius gentian (gentiana clusii) along with the stemless gentian (gentiana acaulis) is also part of the gentian family.


Rudolph's saxifrage

Saxifraga rudolphiana

Rudolph's saxifrage is a true anomaly. It is rare and can be found on exposed, High-Alpine scree and rocks – mainly calcareous slate. Its flowers are a bright purple. Just like the purple mountain saxifrage, Rudolph's saxifrage forms compact clusters, but these are somewhat denser and harder. Typical of this plant are the chalk deposits secreted on the tiny green leaves. The saxifrage has very long roots in order to be well anchored in rock crevices. It flowers from April to July.


Rusty-leaved alpenrose

Rhodedendron ferrugineum

The alpenrose – known locally as the "Almrausch" – appears in bright on the mountain slopes in early summer. There are two types of alpenrose native to the Hohe Tauern National Park. The rusty-leaved alpenrose has wintergreen leaves. Rust-brown spots can be found on the underside of its leaves and give the plant its name. The rusty-leaved alpenrose prefers acidic soil rich in humus. It is closely related to the hairy alpenrose that grows on carbonate soil and has hairy edges on its leaves. Depending on location, the alpenrose flowers between May and early June.



National park history -

the formation of the Alps

 

 

The Tauern Window is an unusual geological feature:

You can view an exciting journey through the millennia of Earth's history.

 

Read more

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