Pasture vegetation

Upland pastures in our region are found between 800 and 2,100 meters of altitude, limits within which the higher portions of the vegetation zones of beeches and firs also fall. Alpine plants are largely “vivid” and with extremely early blooming, as a result of their short growing season. Since they sprout new leaves as early as in the spring, they can perform their functions more rapidly than the annual plants of the lowlands. Their growth habit is generally low and bunched, with short stems and close leaves forming swards or compact cushions. This characteristic results from the soil being warmer than air and from the need to protect themselves from frost and from intense sunlight, all conditions that limit the stem growth. Most good forage herbs belong to the families of graminaceous, leguminous and composite plants. We also find several aromatic species that uniquely affect the taste, flavour and aroma of the dairy products made with the milk of the cattle that grazes on them.