After we had found Dionysia janthina, We decided to stay at the entrance of the gorge for the night. Next day we went further along the road to the town of Dehbala. Just before this town we saw another gorge entrance and decided to have a look. Not far from the entrance we found the first plants of Dionysia curviflora, but most plants were past flowering. So we climbed up higher on the sidewall of the gorge and found more and more plants in flower. Of some of the plants the colour of the flowers had already faded, others were still quite fresh. This explains the variety in colors you can see in the pictures. This dionysia was found on the 15th of april 2003 at altitudes between 2300–2600m. All growing on the northwest side of the gorge, also this gorge is actually not part of the Shir Kuh although very close to it. Because of the problems with our car we were not able to visit the Shir Kuh range. Its a very scenic range, sometimes it looked like we were somewhere in the Alps! One day we hope to return and have a closer look! This dionysia species is one of the longest in cultivation, today there are various forms available. Its an easy species, and can be propagated by cuttings and seed.
Forming rather flat green or grey-green, dense cushions, composed of numerous crammed, tiny, leaf-rosettes; no farina. Stems columnar, covered in closely overlapping dead leaf remains. Leaves forming tiny rosettes, oblong to oblong-spathulate, 2-3mm long, hairy along the flat untoothed margin and in the top half above. Flowers solitary and sessile; corolla pink to lilac with a white eye, surrounding a yellowish zone, the tube 11-12mm long, the limb 6mm diameter with heart-shaped lobes clearly notched at the apex. Central Iran, Yazd Province, Schir Kuh and Kuh-e Barfkhane, on shaded or partially shaded basalt or volcanic cliffs, 2500-4000m. The longest cultivated species and one of the easiest and most reliable species to grow; more recently introduced forms are more floriferous than the old clones of the 1930s. Relatively easily raised from cuttings and seed is sometimes produced in cultivation. Long-lived plants may reach 20cm diameter in as many years. Clones of wild origin in cultivation include JCA2800, SLIZE268, T4Z014, JLMS02-06, DZ I 01-02. There are numerous f1 and f2 hybrids in cultivation.
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