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Short-Haired Sandwort (Moehringia villosa)

The Klagenfurt botanist, F.X Wulfen, published a description of a new sandwort (Arenaria villosa) in 1790. He had received the plant from Karel Zois. He wrote in the description that it grows frequently in the Alps in Carniola. The sandwort was later classified under the Moehringia genus, but retained its species denomination of hairy or short-haired (villosa). In 1838, the species was found on Porezen by the custodian of the Provincial Museum in Ljubljana, Henrik Freyer, and he rectified Wulfen's mistaken data that the plant is generally widespread in the Alps. Freyer noted that it is one of the rarest species (Planta rarissima!). The Natural History Museum in Ljubljana preserves the herbarium of K. Zois and the Short-haired Sandwort is preserved in it, but he did not describe where he found it. Karel Zois did not publish anything, and among the few manuscripts preserved is his botanical notebook from 1785- 1792, in which is recorded a list of species which he had collected in the field himself or had been brought to him by paid collectors. It is noted beside this species that it was brought in 1787 by Koder from Znojilski vrh (Ushnelska gora) which lies in Baška grapa. The text is written for the most part in German Gothic, and there are also some Latin sentences, but the names are in Slovene.

 

Short-haired Sandwort is one of the rarest of Slovene endemic plants. It grows in cracks of dry, sunny rocks in Baška grapa, on Porezen and Črni prst, and is one of the major plant specialities of the southern part of the Julian Alps.

 

  


 Text by Nada Praprotnik 

 

 

Short-Haired Sandwort (Moehringia villosa) /Photo: Ciril Mlinar