Among the flowers that grow on rocky outcrops in the province of Piacenza the armeria alpina, a variety of thrift, is certainly the most elegant.
The plant has a woody stalk that terminates with the branches bearing the leaves, usually lanceolate-linear. The flowers are small spikes carrying numerous pink blossoms: the flowering period is in summer.
In Italy there are various species of armeria, not always easily distinguished one from another.
They are plants typically found on rocky outcrops and stony pastures, where they manage to live thanks to particular adaptations. For example, they have narrow thin leaves (stenophylla) that considerably reduce loss of the water absorbed by the roots through leaf transpiration. In addition, being plants that often live on serpentine, rocks rich in reddish heavy metals, they are able to accummulate notable quantities of these metals (for example, of nickel) without suffering any negative effects.
Among the species that can be found on the mountains of the Apennines of Piacenza is the Armeria marginata, a rare plant which is therefore protected by a regional law, so that it is forbidden to pick it.