John Cousins (July)
We saw these Spring Gentians (Gentiana verna) on the ascent to the Pas de Chevres above Arolla on the Alpine Apprentice course last week. They have the most intense blue colour so even amongst the carpets of alpine flowers they stand out. They were even easier to spot last week because of an awful lot of snow, right down to the village, but these flowers are ready for that and can quickly close up their petals and wait for better weather.
In the UK they are only found in a couple of places, particularly Teesdale in Yorkshire as well as on the Burren in Ireland. A dense cushion is formed by a rosette of the spring gentian's lower leaves, the plant is 2.5 - 15cm in height and normally flowers April-June.