Dionysia diapensiifolia

After we had been to Tehran to get our new leaf spring for our car, we went back in the direction of the city of Shiraz, so way back to the south east again. On our way to Shiraz we also went to the Kuh-e Khataban range, near the town of Sureyan, to search for Dionysia esfandiarii. Unfortunately we did not find it. Continuing towards Shiraz we spotted a nice valley and decided to stop here for the night. When we entered the valley we saw yet another promising gorge, close to the entrance a nice spot to park the car. In the morning of 23rd of April 2003 we went for a walk inside the gorge, already at the entrance we spotted the first plants of Dionysia diapensiifolia in flower! They were growing on both sides of the gorge, most of them complete inaccessible. Even goats could not reach them… Luckily further in the gorge I could make some pictures, but I always had to take some risk to get close enough. We also found some plants of Dionysia revoluta and a beautiful Silene species. Dionysia diapensiifolia has a long history, in 1605 there were already pictures made of this species. In that time plants were used as a drug, as far as Bombay they were traded. This dionysia is not easy in cultivation, and is difficult to propagate.

Botanical Description
Dionysia diapensiifolia
Densely branched forming columns, the older stems covered in dead spreading leaves. Leaves in small lax rosettes, bright green, oblong to spathulate, 5-10mm long, covered in glandular-hairs, the margin flat, untoothed or few-toothed. Flowers solitary or paired, sessile; corolla yellow, the tube 16-30mm long, the limb 10-12mm diameter, with rounded, more or less un-notched lobes. Southwestern Iran, Fars Province, particularly around Sivand on shaded and semi-shaded limestone cliffs, 1600-2300m. In the wild this species makes the largest cushions of any Dionysia, being up to 1m across. Generally difficult in cultivation; cuttings are particularly tricky to root and plants are prone to attacks of botrytis during damp weather. Although there were various introductions in the 1960s and 1970s the only one which persisted until 2000 was ATP77 and this too may now be lost. Some of the new introductions have survived but it remains rare in cultivation. SLIZE253, DZ I 00-33, T4Z058, T4Z060, JMM01-07, JLMS02-18

Some other interesting websites:
Greek Mountain Flora
Vanlife One
Primula World
Androsace World
Botanical Garden of the University Tübingen Germany
Gothenburg Botanical Garden Sweden
Utrecht Botanic Gardens Netherlands
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh UK
Alpine Garden Society Encyclopaedia