The pastures and woods that surround Lake Iseo are rich in plants, flowers and wild grasses. Rose-laurels and brooms flower in gardens, olive trees cover the hills and the underwood is coloured with patches of heather.
Higher up we can find hazel trees, hawthorn, downy oak and hornbeam and,even further up ,chestnut trees, beech , oak, maple and holly until you reach the pines and, finally, the pasture land under the peak of Monte Guglielmo. Elegant bracken makes way for maidenhead fern in the damper regions. Butcher’s broom is common and juniper bushes shoot up here and there. But the real surprise comes with the flowers that colour the pastures and peep out of the crags. The variety of both the species and the colours are astounding.
The Christmas rose, and snowdrops, along with the spring snowflake and primroses announce the arrival of spring. Later come the crocus, anemone hepatica and dogtooth violet. In mid-spring, the snowbell bursts into flower, along with poet’s daffodil Alpine tundra, pasque flowers and the globe flower. Admire the splendour of the bloom of the columbine, St. Bernard’s lily, gentians, lilium and the rarer European peony in the Santa Maria del Giogo area.
The corolla of the snake’s head looks like a small chess board. Splendid wild orchids flower in late spring in some of the valleys between the towns of Sale Marasino and Marone as they find an ideal micro-climate here. Clusters of bell flowers tinge the crags light-blue towards the end of summer. They can be admired in the cracks of the cycling/pedestrian path Vello Toline.
At higher altitudes the endemic Val Daone primrose display its red and purple flowers. The “Telekia speciosissima”, a yellow daisy, brightens grey rocks. Summer brings globe daisies, wild geraniums, monkshood and wild garlic. The small and rare Indian fig Opunzia vulgaris can be found in Marone, between Pregasso and Vesto.
Text by Magda Stefini