Wildalpe 8.6.2018

With Herwig Gießwein I drive over the Semmering to Mürzzuschlag and through the uppermost Mürz valley up to the Lahnsattel. The mountain called Wildalpe is south of the vom and is an "insider´s tip". There are no way marks, but orientation is so easy, that a good map is sufficient. A few signposts guide to "Wildalm", a wonderfully situated mountain pasture, in the map depicted as "Sulzriegelalm".

We start as early as 7 a.m. - morning mist over the Mürz valley with last extensions even up to here.

Besides the small car park at the Lahnsattel there is a wonderful, wet flower meadow ...

 ...with lots of Ragged robins (Silene flos-cuculi) and different orchid species.

Mainly the Heath spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) ...

 ... is growing here in great abundance.

Together with lots of  ...

European bistort (Bistorta officinalis)

European bistort (Bistorta officinalis)

Cotton grass in very wet places.

The sun´s still standing deep.

Common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

Heath spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata)

Now we start our walk ...

 ... firstly through forest ...

 ... and soon out of the forest and on mountain pastures. Lots of different orchids here: Common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

View to Northeast. This valley is part of the common pilgrimage route from Wiener Neustadt to Mariazell.

Dusky Crane´s-bill (Geranium phaeum) along the road.

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus)

In a shady, cool place along the road (with presumably long lasting snow coverage under a cornice), the last flowrishing Early purple orchids (Orchis mascula).

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus) with Dinoptera collaris as visitor. Thank you, Herwig, for identification!

Only a short leg up left to reach the mountain pasture.

Opposite is the large massive of the Göller (1.766 m)

Mountain pasture.

Arrived at the Sulzrieglalm at abot 1.150 m asl.

Now to tackle a short, but steep ascent.

Memorial place ...

 ... for a local.


Lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia)

Steep ascent ...

 ... through wonderful flower meadows.

Der False helleborine (Veratrum album) just starts to flowrish.

Rough hawksbeard (Crepis biennis). Thanks a lot to Jasmine Gourmelon for identification.

Globe Orchid (Traunsteinera globosa)

Broad-leaved thyme (Thymus pulegioides)

Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea)

This Small pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria selene) is already bashed-up..

Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne)

Wonderful, huge mountain pasture with scattered, big old sycamore maple trees. Distant Ötscher in the background.

Zooming in to the Ötscher (1.893 m), the "Rauer Kamm" ("rough ridge") to the right.

Sycamore maple tree

On the summit plateau a few ponds, grown over with bogbeans, which are not yet in flower at this altitude.

Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne)

Vierw to the Göller.

We pass a big cattle herd - the dairymaid said there are about 260, on four pastures.

Some of the animals ...

 ... are rather trusting.

Another puddle.

Gold - Pippau (Crepis aurea)



Alpine ragwort (Senecio subalpinus)

Wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum). We are approaching the summit and re-enter a botanically interesting area.

Wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum).

Widder´s Kohlröschen (Nigritella widderi)

Globe Orchid (Traunsteinera globosa)

Kugelige Teufelskralle (Phyteuma orbiculare) und Mücken Händelwurz (Gymnadenia conopsea)

Lots of Globeflowers (Trollius europaeus) near the summit of the Wildalpe

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus)

First clouds on the Ötscher.

Gemeindealpe with the ski pists to the left, and Ötscher to the right.

Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea)

Alpine Pink1 (Dianthus alpinus)

Gymnadenia rhellicani (Nigritella rhellicani) ...

 ...  only in one place - but numerous here.

Close to the transponder on the Wildalpe summit lots of Globeflowers (Trollius europaeus)

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus) with visitor

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus)

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus)

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus)

View to the Veitschalpe

Globeflower (Trollius europaeus)

Cattle on the summit too.


View to the Hochschwab.

Trusting cows.

At the summit cross at last.

Thank you very much, Herwig, for this picture.

Southern panorama from the summit of the Wildalpe. Click here or into the picture for a larger display.

The ridge proceeds a bit down to the hunters´ house, the it ends in a steep, forested slope.

Gemeindealpe and Ötscher

Gemeindealpe and Ötscher

Hidden in the grass, and only discovered by chance, this Common moonwort (Botrychium lunaria), a fern.

Widder´s Kohlröschen (Nigritella widderi)

Grüne Hohlzunge (Coeloglossum viride)

Grüne Hohlzunge (Coeloglossum viride)

In warm places near rocks, the first flowers of Hairy Alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum) are out.

Hairy Alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum)

Hairy Alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum)

Grüne Hohlzunge (Coeloglossum viride)

Lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia) with the Göller in the background.

Hairy Alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum)

Alpine kidneyvetch (Anthyllis vulneraria subsp. alpicola )

Alpine kidneyvetch (Anthyllis vulneraria subsp. alpicola )

Hairy Alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum)

Hairy Alpenrose (Rhododendron hirsutum)

Gold - Pippau (Crepis aurea)

Hedge bedstraw (Galium mollugo)

Lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia)

Widder´s Kohlröschen (Nigritella widderi)

The large mountain pasture of the Wildalpe - Hochalm with one of the little ponds. Göller in the background. Click here or into the picture for a larger display.

"Toad pond" would be better, as Herwig has called it.

This hut or barn has seen better days.

Lesser butterfly orchid (Platanthera bifolia) and Common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

False helleborine (Veratrum album).

One of the huge sycamore maple trees ...

 ... with Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) around its trunk.

Common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).

Back at the Sulzriegelalm, where we call in for lunch for half an hour, with hot sausages Selchwürsten and elder flowr juice, as served by the friendly staff. as long as the cattle is up on the pasture (from June to September, according to weather), food and drinks are served..

AT the memory place. This saxifrage is planted and not common to the area. I uppose it to be Saxifraga cotyledon.

I cannot identify this helleborine orchid because the flowers are not yet open.

Globe Orchid (Traunsteinera globosa)

Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) along the forest road.

Back at the flower meadow near the Lahnsattel, where I take a second short detour into this orchid paradise.

Ragged robins (Silene flos-cuculi) and cotton grass.