Astrantia major - Great Masterwort / Mountain Sanicle

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Apiales - Family: Apiaceae

Great Masterwort

Above: Great Masterwort or Mountain Sanicle growing in Slovenia. The flowers can be either pink or green.

This lovely wildflower can be found in a number of European countries and will grow in altitudes of up to 2000 metres above sea level. In Britain it is a garden escape that has become naturalised.

It grows in dry to slightly moist conditions in open sunny positions in meadows, and sometimes on woodland edges. The flowers can be pink or greenish-white. Astrantia major prefers calcareous substrates, unlike its smaller relative, Astrantia minor, which can tolerate slightly more acidic conditions. It flowers from mid-June to the middle of September.

Its territory in Europe extends from as far north as Sweden and to the south and east to include the Alps in Austria and Switerland, and the Julian Alps in Slovenia.

The specimen on this page whas photographed in Slovenia in July.

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