Flora e vegetazione

Flora and vegetation of Lake Orta

The Italian prealpine lakes, in addition to their great landscape charm, are an important reservoir of animal and vegetable life. Along the lake banks alternate different ecological conditions that result in various aquatic and marsh environments, each of which hosts specialized plant essences.

In natural conditions, the vegetation of the lakes occupies every available space from the shallow seabed to the back banks influenced by fluctuating water levels.

The oligotrophic waters of the lake are home to the specialized macrophyte cenosis able to go up to a depth of 4-5 meters on average. An example of an aquatic species is the common water millefeuille (Myriophyllum spicatum).

At seabeds with a depth of about 2-3 meters, the populations of aquatic plants rooted on the bottom with floating leaf apparatuses, such as the elegant amphibious polygon (Persicaria amphibia) whose rosy inflowers color the lake surface, are affirmed.

Near the shores, in shallow water, the communities of small perennial amphibian aquatic herbs develop. Among these stands out the very rare aquatic fern known as lake squid (Isoëtes echinospora), found only recently in the waters of the lake.

The seasonal lowering of the level of lake water favors, at the beaches, the affirmation of annual and pioneering herbaceous vegetation such as the small and rare limouse (Limosella aquatica).

The well-known swamp straw (Phragmites australis) is the main constituent of reeds or coastal fragmitetes, which settle along the shores of the lake thanks to the vigorous radical apparatus periodically submerged. Reeds of a certain extent, in addition to being a natural element of undisputed landscape beauty, constitute a unique environment able to favor protection and nesting to numerous ornithic species.

Magnocariceti are plant communities of burial consisting of the large cespi of the spondycola sedule (Carex elata), among which the marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris) appears. Once upon a time, communities of burial with large sedge were mowed annually to obtain plant material that, once dried, was an excellent material for stuffing chairs.

Close to the lake develop the marshy hygrophilic woods with black alder (Alnus glutinosa), a plant able to settle on water-soaked stems. In the marshy undergrowth are interesting species such as the beautiful Valerian marshes (Valerian dioica).