Wonderful Wildflowers of the Altai Mountains and Hustai National Park

Oxytropis pseudoglandulosa

Oxytropis pseudoglandulosa with a view

Oxytropis pseudoglandulosa close up

Oxytropis pseudoglandulosa close up

While my husband’s main excitement was the fishing (see last post here), I was more interested in the flowers. Despite the days still being very cold everything seemed to be coming into bloom. As we were riding, it wasn’t always easy to stop and get off my horse to use my SLR, but I have tried my best to photograph a fraction of what we saw. For my friends there was a lot of looking at this:

Me photographing flowers

My photographing flowers – courtesy of Helen Mayhew

Some of the flowers were familiar versions of flowers used either ornamentally in the UK or which I had seen in alpine areas before, while others were completely new. I have tried my best to identify the flowers but any help or corrections would be greatly appreciated! For example, this one below had leaves that smelled of Lavender, but I have no idea what it was. Sometimes the scent was wonderful – for example as the horses plodded through meadows of a low alpine artemisia.

unknown

unknown

Primula farinosa

Primula farinosa

Two different (?) types of alpine poppies:

papaver

Papaver

papaver

Papaver

An orchid - what type?

Some kind of marsh Orchid near the lake – what type?

Oxytropis oxyphylla

Oxytropis oxyphylla covered in dew in the early morning

Leontopodium ochroleucum

Leontopodium ochroleucum

At over 2,500 meters the mountains were covered in small flowers

At over 2,500 meters the mountains were covered in carpets of small wildflowers

At close to 3,000 meters the scenery was very bleak and rocky and yet little tufts of blooms were everywhere. Poor things must have got a bit of a shock with the blizzard we had later! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Little clumps over white flowers everywhere. Name?

Little clumps of white flowers everywhere. Name?

again - name?

Again – name?

Flowert meadows on our penultimate day up a river valley near the chinese border

Flowery meadows on our penultimate day up a river valley near the Chinese border

Up near the waterfall we saw lots of different flowers unique to the more protected larch filled valleys. Due to being on horseback, I unfortunately missed getting decent photos though we did see Gentianas, Violas (pansies), Myosotis (Forget-me-nots), Achillea (Yarrow), Ribes (red currant bushes), and Thymus amongst many others.

Orostachys malocophylla

Orostachys malocophylla? or something in the Stonecrop family

After we flew back to Ulan Bator the adventure wasn’t quite over and we headed to Hustai National Park (two hours outside of UB) for two final days of riding. Photos to come in the next post. What I hadn’t anticipated was again there being such wealth of wildflowers – although very different from the Altai – more large herbaceous plants rather than tiny alpine clumps. I just had to keep hopping on and off my horse to get some of these!

Lilium pumilum

Lilium pumilum

Linum sibiricum

Linum sibiricum

some type of Limonium

Some type of Limonium

Some type of Potentilla?

Some type of Potentilla?

Veronica incana

Veronica incana

fields of Scutellaria scordifolia

fields filled with Scutellaria scordifolia

Some of my favourites were when this blue butterfly (name?) landed on an Allium and some grass fronds. He was quite amenable, fluttering around and letting me get some nice photos. IMG_3248IMG_3235 IMG_3254Any comments on helping me with flower or butterfly names would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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