Alpine Botanical Garden Saussurea
The Alpine Botanical Garden “Saussurea” (Italian: Giardino Botanico Alpino Saussurea, French: Jardin botanique alpin Saussurea) (7000 m²) is an alpine botanical garden located at Pavillon du Mont Fréty, first station for the Mont Blanc cable car, in Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy. It describes itself as Europe's highest botanical garden, at 2173 metres above sea level, and is open daily in the warmer months.
The garden opened in 1987, and named after the flower Saussurea alpina which honours pioneering alpinist Horace-Bénédict de Saussure (1740-1799). It is managed by the State Forestry Corps and the Autonomous Region Aosta Valley.
The garden is situated on a high ridge south of Mont Blanc, and contains a rockery, alpine pasture, talus slopes, and wetlands. Snow covers the area for 8 to 9 months per year, to a depth of 3-4 metres, disappearing in late June. Plants are identified by a card with family name, gender, species, Italian name, and country of origin. Species include Alnus viridis, Androsace septentrionalis, Arnica montana, Artemisia genipi, Artemisia umbelliformis, Aquilegia alpina, Campanula thyrsoides, Centaurea triumphetti, Eringium burgatii, Eritrichium nanum, Gentiana lutea, Gnaphalium supinum, Leontopodium alpinum, Lilium martagon, Lychnis alpina, Lychnis flos-jovis, Minuartia verna, Nardus stricta, Paeonia officinalis, Peucedanum ostruthium, Potentilla nepalensis, Pulsatilla halleri, Rhododendron ferrugineum, Salix herbacea, Silene elisabethae, Trifolium alpinum, Vaccinium myrtillus, and Veratrum album.
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