Flora - Hungarian gentian
Date of issue: 31.03.2023
Author: Flomaster d.o.o.
Motive: Flora - Hungarian gentian
Printed by: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Printing Process and Layout: 4-colour offset in sheets of 25 stamps
Paper: Tullis Russell Chancellor Litho PVA RMS GUM, 102 g/m2
Size: 29.82 x 42.60 mm
Perforation: Comb 14 : 14
Flora – Gentians of Slovenia
Triglav gentian (Gentiana terglouensis)
The Triglav gentian is found from the Italian Dolomites to the Julian Alps, the Karavanke/Karawanken range and the Kamnik-Savinja Alps. It was first scientifically described by the botanist Balthasar Hacquet, who lived in Carniola in the second half of the eighteenth century and worked as a surgeon in the mining town of Idrija. During his ascents of Mount Triglav he found a number of plants unknown to science, which he described in his work Plantae Alpinae Carniolicae. He named this new gentian Gentiana tergluensis, a phonetic rendering of the name Triglav as he probably heard it from the herdsmen around Bohinj. The flower is found in Alpine meadows amid hardy sedges that resist wind and frost, among rocks, on scree slopes and in rocky crevices.
Hungarian gentian (Gentiana pannonica)
The Hungarian gentian has a misleading name, since it is not really Pannonian in either range or habitat. It was discovered and named by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, a botanist who, like Hacquet, was active in Carniola in the mid-eighteenth century and also served as mine surgeon in Idrija. Scopoli found the Hungarian gentian on Mount Porezen and was the first to scientifically describe it, under the name pannonicum. The plant grows to a height of just over half a metre and has opposite, hairless leaves. The flowers, which are of a purple-violet colour with dark spots, are produced in axillary inflorescences. The Hungarian gentian prefers acidic soil in the mountain belt, where it is a characteristic plant of acidic, nutrient-poor matgrass meadows such as those in the Pohorje.
Marsh gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe)
The marsh gentian has linear-lanceolate opposite leaves and grows to a height of just under half a metre. It is a perennial that in late spring and summer opens large dark-blue flowers with a lighter rim and small spots. It was described by Linnaeus and is found across a large part of Europe, particularly in lowlands and valleys. It is a species of nutrient-poor wet meadows, which in Slovenia were almost entirely dried out, fertilised or overgrown in the twentieth century. The marsh gentian is also important because it is the host plant of a rare butterfly, the alcon blue (Maculinea alcon). The caterpillars of this butterfly feed only on this plant. Once they have grown bigger, they are “adopted” by ants, which continue to feed them until they transform into butterflies. This relationship is the origin of the butterfly’s Slovene name mravljiščar, or “anthill dweller”.