Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Leucojum aestivum, Ostrolovsky Ujezd, Czech Republic

News Flash:  Wild populations of spring bulbs in flower everywhere!

Leucojum aestivum or Giant Snowflake
in full bloom in South Bohemia.
A couple of our botany friends/colleagues had told us that we had to quickly come to Ostrolovsky Ujezd, a small village south of Ceske Budejovice (on the way to Borvani, near the Austrian border) to see the large native populations of Giant Snowflake in full bloom. Since these are spring ephemerals and our weather is very warm (21C), we rush down there to catch them in full bloom!

On the way into the protected landscape, this highly managed Bohemian forest (planted with spruce) is being harvested.
They had cut some trees right around where we found the Giant Snowflakes.
We move carefully through the thickets to a small stream bed where we find hectares full of of blooming Leucojum aestivum! Breathtaking beauty everywhere!

 Mark catches some of the flowers up close.
 Here's one of many populations of last year's seedlings coming up...another year before they'll flower. This will ensure a continuing supply of beauty for years to come.
 Who knows the family for this species?!
Nearby, wild and native Anemone nemerosa are just coming into flower now. They will soon be carpeting the forest edges in the dappled shady areas.
Native silver dollar plant, Lunaria rediviva (Brassicaceae), still holds forth 'money' for the spring. Who'd ever have thought we'd see this plant in its native habitat? Amazing!

We then drive through the village of Ostrolovsky Ujezd, a quiet little area with a large estate rising brilliantly in the April sun, resplendent with a mural above the front door.

 The village nestles near to the southern hills of the Sumava mountains, close by to the city of Borovani.
 One resident has their own root cellar, undoubtedly also storing Moravian wines in it as well!
 And then we see something that stops the is a large old barn but what would you think is placed right next to it?
 Must be the cattle have found religion!

Disclaimer: This blog is not an official University of Minnesota or Fulbright Program blog. The views expressed are my own and not those of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State or any of its partner organizations, or the University of Minnesota.

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