July 10 2009:
Two interesting plants were seen and photographed on the Polish/Slovakian border in summer 2009. Both were growing close to the roadside near Lysa Polana in the wooded Tatras mountains.
The broomrape, Orobanche flava (above), is a parasitic plant, restricted to growing on the roots of species within the family which includes Adenostyles, Petasites and Tussilago. It is only found in eastern Europe, but occurs as far west as Austria. It's fleshy orange-red flowers and stem and orange stigma lobes are mainly diagnostic. Seed is very fine and populations once formed can survive for many years.
Digitalis grandiflora (above) is a beautiful large-flowered foxglove. Here it was found only locally growing in moist, shaded areas along the roadside. It is mainly a central European plant and neither this nor the broomrape (above) occur in the British Isles.
The Belovodska river forming the Slovakian/Polish frontier at Lysa Polana. Slovakia is to the left where the broomrape was found. The Foxglove occurred on the Polish side to the right.