Dolomiti Orientali - Sella, Catinaccio, Sassolungo, Monzoni, Marmolada
The Eastern Dolomites: a rock garden where more than 1,500 different plant species bloom.
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Déodat Tancrède Gratet de Dolomieu (1750 -1801) was a French nobleman and member of the Institut de France, who studied mineralogy. He discovered the unique chemical composition - that is, the double calcium carbonate and magnesium compound - which makes the rocks of the Dolomites so unique. This mountain area was therefore called "Dolomites" after him in 1864.
An endless variety of plant species flower and bloom in the Dolomites, painting the sloping patches among its white rocks and valley bottoms with a multicoloured blanket. There are more than 1,500 species to be found here, endowing its woods with a myriad of different shades of greens and with flowers featuring thousands of hues and shades. The population of this huge plant kingdom ranges from tiny mosses to the Swiss pines, which tower over its highest peaks, and includes mountain pines, Norway spruces, larches, Scots pines and European black pines, as well as beeches, birches, willows, cedars and green alders. More than 50 different species of orchids also grow here. When they come into bloom - together with thousands of meadow flowers, wild berries, edelweiss and other solitary rock flowers which grow here - they give rise to a sudden explosion of colours. Countless medicinal herbs and plants, as well as any kind of mushrooms, use to grow here too.
The Dolomites are also inhabited by marmots, roe bucks and deer. Climbing up the mountains, visitors can sometimes catch a thrilling glimpse of a chamois or ibex, while an endless array of multicoloured butterflies flutter gingerly in the woods and meadows, while the trout swim up its swirling rivers.