The flora distribution in the Lanzo Valleys is diversified according to altitude and slopes’ morphology.
In the higher Lanzo Valleys, between the lower mountain area and the alpine area, tall tree vegetation is dominating. It includes beech and birch trees, common laburnums, Norway spruces, larches and the rare silver firs. The flora comprises, among other species, Orthilia secunda, Cardamine Pentaphyllos, Rhododendrum ferrugineum, Saxifraga cuneifolia, Lonicera caerulea, Viola biflora, Geranyum sylvaticum. Beyond the arboreal vegetation, particularly in the dumpiest sites and slopes, the invasive Alnus virdis grows in sub-alpine areas. Gentiana acaulis, Clematis alpina, Genctiana punctata, Achyllea macrophylla, Cicerbita alpina are part of the local flora. Quite common are Orchis mascula and Thesium alpinum, while Aquilegia alpina is rarer. Peat bogs, poor grazing land, Festuca alpestris and Festuca varia characterize the alpine meadows area. Draba aizoides, Scutellaria alpina and Senecio capitatus are common in Val di Viù and Val d’Ala. Aster alpinus, Gentiana verna and Pulsatilla alpina are also present on these two territories. In Val Grande, Silene acaulis, Leontodon helveticus, Arnica montana, Ranunculus montanus are widespread on the siliceous grounds. In humus rich grounds it is easy to find Pulsatilla alpina, Nigritella nigra and the rarer Anemone narcissiflora.
Beyond the 2400 m altitude, the high alpine area is made of small snowy basins and silicaceous substrates. Here it is possible to find Androsace alpina, Saxifraga cotyledon and alpina living on acid rocks while Saxifraga caesia and Artemisia glacialis live on calcic rocks. Oxyria digyna, Ranunculus glacialis, Soldanella alpina, Artemisia umbelliformis, Gentyana bavarica, Arabis alpina, Campanula excisa only grow in Val Grande.
Text by Marco Blatto ©