Old Rock Garden

Opposite the alpine herb field in a long stretched ditch we come across an area which has been cultivated from the early days of the Alpine Garden. Where the rock garden begins, to the right of the path, we find the largest number of plants that were set in the early phases of the garden. On the sunny, early snow-free locations, plants that prefer dry ground have survived until today:

Old Rock GardenTheOne-Headed Centaury (Centaurea uniflora), a member of the daisy family, is a white lanate plant that grows 40 cm high. The always single flower heads are up to 5cm in diameter and purple-red. The spherical, markedly hairy fruiting heads are very conspicuous right into late autumn. This species inhabits dry, stony meadows and pastures well up and beyond 1500 metres sea level and is only found in the south western Alps.
The Weather Thistle (Carlina acaulis) is another plant that inhabits dry, arid locations. It forms a rosette plant with thorny serrated leaves. The individual upright flower heads are up to 12 cm broad, straw-yellow inside surrounded by pure white bracts. Only during sunny, dry weather do the bracts open up and close in the evening or during wet weather: thus the name ‘Weather Thistle’. This species is monocarp, which means it dies off after producing seed.
At the lowest point of the garden, before we enter the timber forest, we find a great preponderance of Arnica (Arnica montana). From a ground-standing rosette an up to 60 cm tall flowering stem sprouts in July and August with up to 7 cm big, orange-yellow flower heads. Of the more than 30 species of the genus Arnica that are native to Asia and Northern America this well known herbal plant is the only representative in our region.