VALICO DELLA FORCHETTA – QUARTO SANTA CHIARA:
The vegetation at the Valico della Forchetta is mainly characterized by the presence of an extensive beech forest in the northeastern portion of the area. On the opposite slope, however, there is ample space for reforestation. On the same slope, open spaces with xerobromes and, in the rockier situations, aspects of chamaephyte garigue with Satureja montana subsp. montana, Helianthemum oelandicum subsp. incanum is not infrequent.
At the Quarto di S. Chiara, prairie vegetation prevails that, depending on the height of the ground level and the physical-chemical characteristics of the soils, varies from wet to flooded to decidedly hygrophilous. The predominant species in the wet hay meadow are Cynosurus cristatus and Lolium arundinaceum.
Carex buxbaumii and Carex disticha meadows are of particular importance due to their rarity.
Description of the species
Etymology: the specific epithet derives from the latin longifolia (long-leaved).
Description: plant up to 50 cm high. Stem light green leafy. Leaves up to 12 are lanceolate, with prominent veins descending from the bottom to the top. Inflorescence loose with up to 30 flowers.
The flowers are white, fragrant, erect, and ajar. Sepals are long, lanceolate-acute while the petals are smaller, obtuse, and joined to the median sepal. lip is white, with a few longitudinal yellow ridges, concave, with straight lateral lobes around the gynostemium. Spur absent.
Etymology: the specific epithet incarnata was given to it due to the rosy colour of the flowers.
Description: plant up to 80 cm high. Scape robust light green. Leaves max. 8, are erect, lanceolate wrapping around the stem, often exceeding the base of the inflorescence. Bracts are long, lance-shaped and protrude out of the inflorescence, often tinged with red. Inflorescence dense with numerous flowers. The flowers are intense pink. Lateral and divergent sepals, the middle one together with the petals are turned forward to form a hood. Lip slightly 3-lobed with purple dots and lines. Spur stout, conical and pointing downwards.
Etymology: the specific epithet refers to the appearance of the labellum.
Description: plant up to 100 cm high. Scape thin, green, and often purplish at the apex. Leaves dark green, elliptical, cauline are characterized by brown spots only on the upper page. Inflorescence dense, conical, and characterized by numerous flowers. Sepals are purple-purple characterized by a series of purple lines and punctuation, the middle one joined with the petals to form a helmet. Lip broad, and 3-lobed, with the median lobe, rounded clear at the base with a purple tinge starting in the centre and intensifying at the margin, characterized like the tepals by purple lines and dots. Spur cylindrical and descending. Gynostemium obtuse.
Etymology: the term conopsea is derived from the greek konops (mosquito) from the appearance of the spur that resembles the mouthparts of mosquitoes.
Description: plant up to 1 m high. Scape erect, flexuous light green at the base and purplish at the apex. The lower leaves are long, linear and lanceolate, and the upper ones are bract-shaped. Inflorescence dense and elongated with small, fragrant flowers, varying in colour from pink to purplish red, rarely white. Lateral sepals are long, and the median one curved forward, united with the petals to form a helmet. Lip 3-lobed, lobes very similar to each other. Spur very long, filiform, downward-pointing, containing little nectar.