Italian gardens and parks: Alpine Botanic Garden Paradisia
- WTI Magazine #165 Jul 23, 2023
The botanical garden is located in Valnontey, in the municipality of Cogne, Valle d'Aosta, in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park, at 1700 meters above sea level, an area of about 10,000 square meters. Founded in 1955 at the behest of the Gran Paradiso National Park Board of Directors in order to enhance its flora, it takes its name from Mount Lily (Paradisea liliastrum), white flowers, spread in the surrounding pastures.
In the garden some natural environments are reproduced: peat bog, moraine, limestone debris, each with explanatory panels to reveal those features. The butterfly garden, in particular, is a route at the top of the garden dedicated to these insects that play a very important role as pollinators of mountain flora.
The period of greatest flowering is from mid-June to mid-July, depending on the weather. Guided tours can be booked, otherwise at the entrance visitors are given a small brochure with the main features of the garden; each plant is accompanied by a card that shows its name.
The garden contains more than 1,000 species belonging mainly to the flora of the Alps, and is home to some rarities such as greater astragalus (Astragalus alopecurus) and the Pennsylvania cinquefoil (Potentilla pensylvanica).
One of a kind is the collection of lichens that grow spontaneously on the garden boulders.