Sunday, September 9, 2012

Flora of Slovenia - 2011

Slovenia Post issued the flora stamp set on March 25, 2011. The issue consist of three postage stamps depicted the flora of Slovenia, the common sundew, the common cranberry, Tussock cotton-grass and one souvenir sheet consist of one stamp depicts flora Bog rosemary.

Common sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)

The common sundew is a member of the sundew family (Droseraceae), and  as one of three varieties of sundew  that  are extremely rare species.The other species are  the English sundew and the spoonleaf sundew .

The common sundew grows in Slovenia.It is a protected species in Slovenia.They  are all perennial marsh and bog-dwelling plants with simple leaves in rosette patterns. The common sundew has small, white, hermaphroditic five-petalled flowers which bloom in narrow, sparsely-flowered inflorescences. The fruit is a single tapered seed.

The common sundew is true carnivorous plants.These “dewdrops” are glandular secretions which allow the plant to externally “digest” small animal species: midges, ants, spiders etc. which get caught on the plant, which uses them to enrich its nutritional intake in the mineral-poor soil of the peaty Ljubljana Marshes
Common cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris)

There are two species of cranberry in Slovenia, the common cranberry (Oxycoccus palustrisand the small cranberry. Cranberries are in the heath family (Ericaceae). The both species  quite similar, and grow in similar environments, peat bogs.

The common cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris) is a trailing evergreen whose shoots can grow up to 70 cm. Its leathery oval leaves are small. The bottom leaves have blueish color and waxy coating on their surfaces  The flowers are small, and the blossoms have four upturned petals. The most obvious part is the fruit, a plump red berry. The fruits are edible, and are used to make jams and liquors.

The common cranberry (Oxycoccus palustris)  is a rare and endangered species in Slovenia, since it thrives only found in the few places peat bogs. It is therefore a typical marshland plant which adapted to life in acidic, mineral-poor soils. In Slovenia it is found in the marshes of the Julian Alps and the Pohorje and in the remaining bogs in the Ljubljana area.

contentimage_17012_280_0 Tussock cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum)

Tussock cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum) is part of the cotton-grass genus (Eriphorum), which includes five species in Slovenia, but their numbers are dwindling rapidly, as their habitat is shrinking continuously and disappearing quickly. Tussock cotton-grass is also called sheathed cotton-sedge because of its sheathed leaves

All of them grow in more or less moist and acidic regions – bogs, swamps or marshes with few nutrients in the soil. These habitats are disappearing due to the intensification of agriculture.

Tussock cotton-grass is the most acidophilic and marshy species, which thrives in the marshy pine forests and true peat bogs in the Alps and the Pohorje, and also here and there in the sub-Alpine regions.

Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia)

Bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) is the only species in its genus and is a member of the heath family (Ericaceae). Bog rosemary  grows up to 30 cm high, with lanceolate leaves with white undersides. Its flowers are small but attractive: the petals are elongated, bell-shaped and light pink, and hang in sparse umbrella inflorescences.

Bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia) is a boreal species which grows throughout the northern regions of the northern hemisphere.  In Slovenia,  it grows in peat bogs in Pokljuka, Jelovica, the Pohorje and the Ljubljana Marshes. Bog rosemary thrives on the “shores” of marshy pools, in peat  and its seed capsules produce many seeds every year.(Sources: Wikipedia, Bulletin of Slovenia Post)

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