Yellow, countless wildflowers bloom in this colour..well, surely botanists have counted them, but i haven’t. Just looking thru the lists of Flora Pyrenaica there are hundreds. Here are a few..
Lilium pyrenaicum, known in English as Pyrenean Lily, Yellow Martagon Lily or Yellow Turk’s-cap Lily, in Spanish as Lirio Amarillo, Lirio or Azucena de los Pirineos, and in French as Lis des Pyrénées. As many of these names suggest, it is principally found in the Pyrenean range though it does appear in other European ranges. While it is a very visible flower, growing as high as a meter from the ground, it is relatively uncommon..this Summer we came across it just once in ten days of activity.
Another large yellow flower (up to 50-60cm) which is not especially common is Trollius europaeus, in French Trolle des Montagnes or Trolle d’Europe and known as Calderones in Spanish. It fascinated me when i first saw it years ago, and still does. It’s the flower that never seems to open – what you see in the foto is not some pre-bloom stage, that’s how the flower is.
Staying with plants on the larger side of life, next up is Doronicum grandiflorum, classified as relatively rare and with no popular names in either English or Spanish (Doronic à grandes fleurs in French, Doronico dei macereti in Italian). Nevertheless, i seem to come across it regularly enough in the Central Pyrenees, and when you do find a plant or cluster of plants, you can expect to see 10-20 individual flowers.
A flower often confused with Doronicum is Arnica montana, commonly known as Arnica and widely cultivated for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately it is reported to be increasingly difficult to see it in the mountains..i myself have come across it very infrequently in Pyrenees, perhaps somewhat more often in Alps. While the flower is very similar to Doronicum, the stem and the base leaves are quite different.
Those who visit the alpine tundra of the Pyrenees, and particularly areas of loose limestone surface, gravel or small stones, where practically nothing grows, may be lucky enough to come across Crepis pygmaea, usually a small terrain-hugging plant. The bright yellow flowers, reminiscent of dandelions, stand out like the moon in the night sky while the dull greyish-green leaves blend in almost mimetically with the surrounding stones.
And just one more.. this one a flower which – unlike the majority of the plants presented here – is also to be found readily in the mountains of the Sistema Central: the Great Yellow Gentian, Gentiana lutea, in Spanish Genciana Amarilla. Very different from the small blue gentians, this plant grows to over a meter tall and appears in extensive colonies both in grassy areas and among the rocks.