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blog by: El Paraje
Berchules, Granada, Spain

29 August 2010

Parnassia palustris or Marsh Grass-of-Parnassus

Our last flora post we dedicated to the Marsh Gentian. Close to this Gentiana pneumonanthe subsp Depressa we saw another interesting bog species with prominent white blossom, namely the Marsh Grass-of-Parnassus. Parnassia palustris is a species with a holarctic distribution according to the on-line magazine Waste. Throughout the northern continents of the world in can be found in moist areas like watersides, damp slopes, shores, wet moorland, swamps and stream banks. It can be found throughout Spain and as far south as Northern Africa (Rif Mountains). In Andalusia, the ´hepática blanca´ or ´hierba del parnaso´ occurs only in Sierra Nevada between 1,500 and 3,000 metres. In Sierra Nevada its habitat are the wet grasslands locally known as ´borreguiles´. In many countries it is on the list of endangered species. In Andalusia it is on the ´Lista Roja de la Flora Vascular de Andalucía´. It was the 18th century Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus who first validly published the name ´Parnassius palustris´ in1751. On Wikipedia it is mentioned that the name is inherited from ancient Greece. “Evidently the cattle on Mount Parnassus appreciated the plant; hence it was an honorary grass.“ The Greek Mount Parnassus has an altitude of 2,475 metres. This is more or less the height where we saw our Bog-stars, namely at about 2,600 metres in the Barranco de las Albardas in the Trevélez valley. Other sites in Sierra Nevada where it flowers from June to September are for example Arroyo del Palancón or the Borreguil del Río San Juan.

Related key words: bloemen, northern grass-of-parnassus, sumpf-herzblatt, studentenröschen, paranassiaceae, parnassiafamilie, herzblattgewächse, parnassioideae, alpujarras

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