Country of Orchids

The municipality of Palena has decided to characterise its orchids with themed events under the aegis of the Majella National Park’s scientific committee.

The invitation is also to move on to observations ‘in the field’: the appointment is with excursions to sites where orchids are present, armed with a camera to ‘capture’ the beauty of these flowers and the territory that hosts them, immersing oneself in nature.

The Orchidaceae family is one of the largest families of angiosperm plants, with around 28,000 species grouped in 800 genera.

Orchids are herbaceous perennials of which about 30% are terrestrial, while the remainder grow as epiphytes or lithophytes.
The number of species recorded, however, is constantly changing as a result of new discoveries and taxonomic reorganisations that enrich our knowledge of these plants over time.

The Palena area is characterised by its floristic richness linked to its varied morphology, which finds in the eastern slope of the Majella the elective place for the growth of various thermophilous orchids belonging to the genus Ophrys. It is surprising to note how an area that represents just 0.03% of the entire Italian territory can host over 15% of its flora, a clear demonstration of the high local biodiversity. Furthermore, the Palenese flora constitutes around 57% of the flora of the entire Majella National Park District and around 35% of the regional flora of Abruzzo. This is possible thanks to a diversity of factors such as the modest anthropic disturbance, the variety of the plant landscape and the climatic and environmental heterogeneity.

Situata in Località Colleveduta, a circa 800 mt. s.l.m., l’Area Faunistica si estende per 10.770 mq. ed è caratterizzata da un bosco di abeti, cespugli, alberi da frutto e aree di pascolo, rispecchiando l’habitat naturale dell’orso marsicano.

Sites of natural interest characterised by a wide variety of orchid species