santo stefano di sessanio

The Adonis Vernalis and other flowers of the Gran Sasso National Park


A splendid flower, simple and magnificent, with its delicate yellow petals

In Greek mythology, Adonis was a beautiful boy, so beautiful that Aphrodite fell in love with him at first sight. He was the son of the Myrrh tree and a god tied to the world of nature, to the growth of plants and to the regeneration of Spring. For this reason his name was given to a splendid flower, simple and magnificent, with its delicate yellow petals: the Adonis Vernalis.

This plant belongs to the Ranunculaceae family. It is a species that in Italy grows only in the Abruzzo region, and precisely in the Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park.

It requires a very specific soil and environment. In fact, it finds its home only in uncontaminated areas of the park where it always enchants visitors and has become the symbol of the park. It is also a protected species because of its rarity and it shows all its grace and beauty exactly in the month of March when it blooms with all its splendid eye-catching yellow flowers, gathered together in small bushes here and there in the fields and lawns around Castelvecchio di Calvisio and Barisciano. It can seem a flower of little value with its pointed petals and small dimensions, but the Adonis Vernalis is also precious for its healing properties.

Thanks to guided visits and excursions there are lots of many other rarities safeguarded in the park that you can see and admire, gems of nature that will make you appreciate the beauty of Abruzzo and that will give a unique touch to your holidays. A close relation to the Adonis Vernalis is the Adonis Distorta that loves to grow amongst the stones, like the Saxifraga Italica, an extremely rare species that can be seen, if you are very lucky, only in the Abruzzo and Marche regions.

Nature never stops amazing everyone, in fact, a new kind of Buttercup never identified before in the whole world, and blossomed near Amatrice was discovered. It was named after the son of one of the discoverers – a researcher from the Appenine Floral Research Centre: the Ranunculus Giordanoi. The discovery was dedicated to all the children of Amatrice.

The Ranunculus is one of the 2642 different plants identified in the Park, and of the 229 endemic Italian plants present in this protected area. Because of these impressive numbers, the Gran Sasso and Laga Mountains National Park is one of the most species-rich in the world and absolutely cannot be missed.


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