Typical Flora of the Nure and Chero Valleys
The flora of the Nure and Chero valleys varies greatly depending on the altitude. The forests are dominated by the beech. Deciduous trees grow up to 1500 m above sea level and the undergrowth is characterised by bilberries. Where the forests thin out there are grasses and the geranium nodosum, anemone nemorosa and anemone trifolia, the crocus and heliophilous species such as rubus idaeus and senecio nemorensis. The meadows are made up of many plants suitable for grazing animals and during the summer flowering there are several species of wild orchid. The mountain pine grows here too, at higher altitudes together with the silver fir. The hornbeam, the maple, the ash, the elm, the lime, the hazel and the laburnum flourish at lower altitudes.
It is still possible to find the holly in the Nure and Chero valleys, especially as undergrowth in the beech woods on the hills and mountains.
Among the flowers that are found on rocky surfaces in the province of Piacenza the armeria alpina, a variety of thrift, is certainly the most elegant.
Of the many species of orchid that can be seen in the province of Piacenza the ophrys or bee orchids are among the most curious and interesting.
The silver firs found on Monte Nero never grow very tall, at most 10 metres. These trees are centuries old, some of them 350 years old.
The presence of the mountain or mugo pine on the mountains of the upper Nure valley goes back to the last Glacial Age, the only one to have affected the Piacenza Apennines.
The summits of some mountains are crowned by wide open pastures. These alpine meadows are probably not natural, but are more likely the result of earlier pasturing of animals there.
The sunny dry slopes of the Nure valley are mostly covered by three species of tree which are very common on the hills and lower mountains: the hop hornbeam, the manna ash and the downy oak, all thermophilic (i.e. heat-loving) species.
The chestnut woods that grow on the Piacenza Appennines were planted by man. They are found in the zone where the hills rise to become mountains.