On our way from Shiraz to the town of Semirom, we passed a small gorge. And as always as we come across such spots we take a look with our binoculars. To our surprise we saw some violet “dots” on the opposite rock face. Because there is a river between the road and the opposite rocks we could not get to the other side. Luckily a few km further there was a bridge, from there I walked back along the river, which was not easy because the river bank was very steep. On this 27th of April 2003 I found Dionysia bryoides on these east facing rocks at an altitude of approx. 2250m, still nice flowering. Although plants in cultivation flower easily, this species is one of the most difficult to grow.
Forms dense, rather flat, deep green, efarinose cushions. The main differences from D. curviflora can be observed in the leaves and calyces that are hairless, being covered instead in numerous minute glands. Flowers pale to deep pink and violet, with a white centre. Relatively widespread in Fars and Esfahan Provinces, on various mountains, growing on sunny or shaded limestone cliffs, 1800-2800m. Formerly considered difficult to cultivate it is now widespread in cultivation, largely due to the large number of clones available. Seed is regularly set and as well as a large number of clones there are a wide range of f1 and f2 hybrids in cultivation. As with all the difficult species it pays to have a reserve stock of cuttings and young plants, as the parent plants can die without warning. Whilst some other species will survive the removal of infected rosettes, with Dionysia bryoides any infection spreads very rapidly. Clones in cultivation of wild origin include H1986, SLIZE236, JLMS02-43, JLMS02-44, JLMS02-30, DZ I 00-31, DZ I 01-09, T4Z085, T4Z092, JMM01-21, CIA192, CIA221-1, CIA221-2, CIA221-3, KUHI268-1, KUHI268-2, KUHI268-9, KUHI270-2.
Reference: ALPINE GARDEN SOCIETY PLANT ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Some other interesting websites:
Greek Mountain Flora
Botanical Garden of the University Tübingen Germany
Gothenburg Botanical Garden Sweden
Utrecht Botanic Gardens Netherlands
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh UK
Alpine Garden Society Encyclopaedia