There are more flowers on Aubrac than words to describe them. We can talk about its landscapes of summer pastures, its meadows, its exceptionally remarkable flora. There are emblematic species such as Yellow Gentian, Narcissus, Daffodil and Cistern. These few species are only a very small part of the great diversity floristics of the plateau. In the same meadow, around forty different plant species can cohabit. Thousand perfumes which make the cows of the Aubrac plateau happy and which are found in our cheeses.
Aubrac, a plateau of a thousand flowers
Aubrac is characterized by its multiple landscapes : large meadows, forests, plateau and steep slopes. This richness is also found at the level of the flora, with varieties specific to each environment. The Aubrac massif, extending to the valleys and gorges, has around 2 plant species, including at least 000 above 1 meters in altitude.
Some lesser-known ecosystems are present in Aubrac and are home to many plants, each more spectacular than the next. The rarest are the guinea fowl fritillary, the red pulsatilla, or the leafy lousewort. It is by returning to the heart of the beech and oak groves that one can observe the famous Aubrac tea, the collection of which is regulated. The limestone soils of the southern slope of Aubrac offer another family of flowers, with numerous orchids.
each season has its own colors and scents
Each season paints a new picture thanks to this multitude of plants. Colors, scents, atmospheres vary every day.
When the days begin to lengthen, from February-March, the undergrowth is covered with the white or purple flowers of theOxalis sorrel and solid corydalis, among which may flower some False buttercup anemones. The top is tinged with purple thanks to the wild thoughts.
In spring, from the months of April-May, the meadows change color and turn yellow with the Daffodils. Then will come the Narcissus of the poets whose flowers are picked with great care for perfumery.
In the heart of summer, the great plants of the meadows and streams bloom: theAconite of Nappel and Meadowsweet are the best known. Note also the remarkable Siberian Ligulare. This perennial plant is found in bogs and swamps located at higher elevations. It dates from the Ice Age. This species is very rare in Aubrac and in France: picking it is prohibited. Also on hot summer days, other species develop discreetly in the bogs. They are extremely delicate and must be safeguarded, such as the round leaf sundew or Common Cranberry.
The narcissus harvest
Aubrac turns into white paradise in spring, with a marvelous carpet of white flowers: the Narcissus of the Poets. You may be able to spot farmers with a tool that looks like a wide fork to perform their harvest. Its smell is intoxicating, but the narcissus remains a very delicate flower. As soon as the harvest is over, these aromas leave for the Peyre-en-Aubrac distillery. The extract is used by most great perfumers.
Aubrac tea (or Large-flowered Calamentum) is a plant that grows in the light undergrowth of beech trees, at a minimum altitude of 1 meters. Thé d'Aubrac is a small, inconspicuous plant, whose fragrance is secreted as soon as the plant is brushed against. It is used in infusion. She has soothing properties and it also helps to facilitate digestion.
Harvesting should be done exclusively by hand. The leaves are removed from the stems, to be able to work the plant once dried. Local producers offer derivative products such as syrups, infusions, shortbread, soap, cosmetics or even ice cream.
The flora throughout northern Aveyron
To the west of the Aubrac plateau, the rest of the territory offers a completely different landscape composition. This difference is marked by big trees. There are oaks, beeches, lime trees. The slopes are populated by ferns, moors and heather. The landscapes are open, made up of Natural grasslands and plots. Hedges enclose these plots and the landscapes take shape like mosaics of forests interspersed with pastures.
To learn more about the flora:
To find out more about the flora of the territory, do not hesitate to contact our professionals who offer outings and activities to find out everything about this rich natural heritage.
When to admire flowering?
To help you find your way among all these plants, their flowering dates, their particularities, here is a summary table. You will be able to organize your stay according to the colors you want to see bloom on the set.
|flower type||Flowering||Particularity and derivative|
|False Buttercup Anemone||April to May||Solitary yellow flowers.|
|Arnica||March to June||Medicinal virtues against hematomas.|
|Calment||June to August||The dried leaves are used in digestive herbal tea.|
|Bellflower||In July and August||Small blue or purple bells opening into five lobes.|
|spring crocuses||February to May||White solitary flowers.|
|Foxglove||May to July||Glove-shaped flowers or bells, measuring 3 to 6 centimeters long, hang in a long cluster from one side of the stem.|
|Drosera||From June to September||Carnivorous plant found in high altitude bogs.|
|Guinea fowl fritillary||May to early June||Big purple bells.|
|Scotch Broom||In spring||Used to craft brooms.|
|yellow gentian||May to October||The roots are taken for the manufacture of alcohol. Spring roots are more bitter than autumn roots, which are sweeter.|
|Gentian pneumonanthus||June to October||Bright blue medicinal plant.|
|Daffodil (Narcissus)||February to May||Single, double, trumpet, crown, star… Some yellow narcissus are commonly called “daffodils”.|
|Siberian Ligulare||July to September||Flowers in yellow clusters, large plant.|
|Narcissus of the poets||Arrives immediately after the daffodils, around mid-May to early June||Flowers used for the production of aromas and perfumes for perfumers around the world.|
|orchids||In spring||Flowering varies from year to year depending on the light.|
|Oxalis sheep sorrel||From spring to early summer||Small solitary white flowers.|
|Red Pasqueflower||May to July||Flower toxic by ingestion for animals and humans.|
|Rapunzel||May to July||Blue flower with a globose head.|
|Meadowsweet||In spring and summer||Vanilla smell.|