The richness of the species inside the Piatra Craiului National Park is the result of the extremely diverse conditions the territory provides for the development of the vegetation. The altitude exceeding 2200 m provides the appropriate development conditions for almost all of the Carpathian Chain alpine and mountain species. The forests, bare rocks, scree slopes, meadows and swamp lakes, ensure the particularly rich botanical diversity. The fungi, moss, lichens and flower plants species find here a real paradise.

A total number of 1170 plant species and subspecies have been identified throughout the national park’s territory. Taking into account the fact that Romania’s flora records 3136 species, it can be stated that the Piatra Craiului National Park is home for 30% of the superior plant species in the country. 181 species have been included into the "Red List of superior plants in Romania" as endemic, rare or vulnerable species, proving the importance of the Piatra Craiului National Park from the point of view of flora species conservation, namely the Carpathian endemic species.

Among these species we name only the most commonly known, which enchant the eyes of nature lovers visiting Piatra Craiului during summer. These species benefit from a strict conservation regime: garofita pietrei craiului (Dianthus callizonus) the symbol of the Piatra Craiului massif, this mountain being the only place in the world to house this species, Taxus baccata, Angelica arhangelica, Nigritella nigra and N. rubra, Papaver alpinum ssp. corona-sancti-stefani; Linaria alpine, Leontopodium alpinum, Trolius europaeus, Rhododendron mytifolium, Gladiolus imbricatus, Gentiana lutea, Daphne blagayana, Daphne cneorum, etc.

The Piatra Craiului National Park houses an impressive number of mountain orchids 48 species out of the 53 species found in Romania. But don’t expect to find the exotic orchids from the warmer climate countries. The orchids in the temperate areas are small and less spectacular looking, but still they represent one of the most endangered plant groups worldwide.

Due to the high declivity of the mountain slopes, the vegetation layers, formed according to the altitude are best noticeable here, the massif being surrounded, from the bottom towards the ridge, by hay fields, forests, bare rocks and alpine meadows.

Garofita Pietrei Craiului Papucul Doamnei Bulbuci

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