The shrubs - Orto botanico 'Pellegrini - Ansaldi'

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The shrubs

The snowy mespilus (Amelanchier ovalis Medicus)
It is 1-2 m tall, it lives on sunny limestone big rocks.
Its leaves are ovals, petiolate, dark green in the upper part, white-woolly in the lower part; dentate margin.
The florescence, very showy, occurs in April-May before the development of the leaves: very numerous white flowers, with five petals, woolly outside, gathered in terminal racemes.
Later the fruits mature, ovoid pomes, little (5-10 mm), light blue-blackish and covered when ripe by pruinose material.

The scorpion senna (Coronilla emerus L.)
It is an evergreen shrub that is tall up to 2 m, it lives in the forest clearings; on the Apuane, it is mostly found together with the black hornbeam, in the querceto-carpineto. The trunk is woody and striated.
The leaves, alternated, odd-pinnate are composed of 5-9 leaves ovate in shape. The flowers appear in spring, between April and June: they are yellow, gathered in bunches supported by peduncles of 3-6 cm, to recall a small crown (corona), from which the name Coronilla.
The fruits are pendulous legumes long up to 8 cm.

The common juniper (Juniperus communis L.)
It is an evergreen shrub sometimes with an arboreal appearance; dense stinging crown of leaves, linear-needle-shaped, about 1,5 cm long; in the upper part they have a white waxy line.
The flowers are not so showy and of two types: males and females. It is a dioecious plant species: there are plants only with male flowers, others only with female flowers, from which will ripe the “fruits”, that are seeds brought by structures called cones (“berries” of juniper). The “fruits” mature in two years; they are small, brown-violets, covered by waxy material and they are used in cooking, as well as in the production of gin.
It lives in grazing and in the forest clearings, up to about 1500 m; it is often widespread on the soils impoverished by overgrazing.

The common laburnum (Laburnum anagyroides Medicus)
It is a shrub or tree tall up to 6 m, it lives in the forests of broadleaved, especially carpineti and beech woods, up to about 1400 m.
The leaves are trifoliate, with stalk of about 2-5 cm and three elliptical elements of about 3 per 5 cm. the flowers are in pendulous bunches of intense yellow colour. The fruit is a legume, poisonous. On the altitudes of about 1000 m, it blooms in May, from which the name “Maggiociondolo”; in other languages this plant is famous with expressions that recall the colour of the flowers, like Pluie d’or, Golden rain.

The wayfarer (Viburnum lantana L.)
It is a deciduous shrub, it lives on the Apuane up to 1000 m of altitude, in the clearings of querceto-carpineto, on the limestone acid soils.
The leaves are ovate (about 5 per 9 cm), dentate on the margin, dark green in the upper part and rough in the lower part, where the reticulated rib is very visible. The flowers are white and strongly smelly, small, gathered in dense corymbiform tops wide about 10 cm. it blooms in May; later the fruits develop, small ovoid drupes that at first are red and then black.

The Phoenicean juniper (Juniperus phoenicea L.)
It is an evergreen shrub tall 1-4 m. it is a Mediterranean species, usually connected with coastal environments, on the Apuane it is found up to about 1000 m, set aside on sunny limestone cliffs, in heterotypical position, that is outside of the environment in which it usually vegetates.
The leaves are composed of very small squama, of 1 mm, that cover entirely the terminal branches.
Flowers in inflorescences not so showy, of two different types: the male ones (long 2-4 mm, with few squama stamens) and the female ones (composed of 3-8 bracts, opposite or verticillate).
It is generally a monoecious species, but some of them are dioecious. The seeds are brought in oval cones of red-brown colour,  6-14 mm wide; they mature in 18 months.

L'ORTO BOTANICO PIETRO PELLEGRINI, Un giardino alpino nel Parco Regionale delle Alpi Apuane
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