Flora in the Český Krumlov Region

Originally the entire territory of the region was covered by uninterrupted forest. The small map roughly shows the present estimation of the composition of the primeval forest.

Geobotanic map of the Český Krumlov region

In the lowest parts of the regions and in the Vltava valley up to Český Krumlov there were thermophilic beech-woods where the hornbeam was replaced by linden. Today this part of the region is almost deforested or has been replaced by areas with spruce and pine monocultures.

The map of phytogeographical structuring

Approximately until 500 - 600 m above sea level were mainly acidophilic oak forests - mostly oak-woods with an abundant mixture of fir. In the more fertile areas and in places with better conditions foothill linden-beech-woods grew. The following were among the most important plant formations:

  1. Calciphilous and thermophilic wood and non-wood vegetation on a limestone base in the area around Český Krumlov and diffused on limestone areas up to Černá v Pošumaví. Among the important species here are i.e. wood anemone (Anemone sylvestris), tufted milkwort (Polygala comosa), germander Teucrium chamaedrys, germander Teucrium botrys, all three species of helleborines (Cephalanthera), sedge Carex michelii, hawk's beard Crepis praemorsa, etc.

  2. Wood and non-wood vegetation connected to the serpentine base, concentrated in the Křemžská basin in some locations of the Ktiše surroundings. Because matter disintegrated by the serpentine is toxic for most of the vegetation, the serpentine areas are typical in the simple complexity of their species: as for trees, only the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) prospers; in herbs one - the lily Anthericum ramosum; in creeper forms - pink Dianthus carthusianorum, sheep's fescue (Festuca ovina), spleenwort Asplenium cuneifolium and some others.

  3. Vegetation of the Vltava's canyon-like valley from České Budějovice to Vyšší Brod. Here we find only detritus deciduous forests with appearance of i.e. sage Salvia glutinosa and Hypericum hirsutum, slope firs, relict rock pinewoods (the appearance of the heath Erica herbacea in NPR Čertova stěna and Luč is significant) and termophilic rock vegetation with alyssum Aurinia saxatilis, fescue Festuca pallens and garlic Allium montanum.

Beech growth on Kleť Mountain

Middle layers of the region up to a height of 1000 m above sea level were originally covered by mixed forests with a predominance of beech mixed with fir and spruce - beech-woods and fir-beech-woods. It can be presumed that the beech-woods have slowly taken over all natural sites with dry soil in the higher hills and uplands of the mountainais area of Českokrumlovsko.

  1. Their most common type with floristically rich herb undergrowth is denoted as flowery beech-woods - they always retain a relatively natural form in every connected layer in CHKO Blanský Forest (Kleť, Bulový, Vysoká Běta), in NP and CHKO Šumava (massif Smrčiny, Plechý, Stožec, Boubín, Knížecí stolec, etc.) and in the Vyšší Brod and Nové Hrady mountains. Typical undergrowth species are Dentaria enneaphyllos, Dentaria bulbifera, baneberry (Actaea spicata), wood sanicle (Sanicula europaea), violet Viola reichenbachiana, dog's mercury (Mercurialis perennis), woodruff (Galium odoratum), fescue Festuca altissima, etc.

  2. To the flowery beech-woods in the heights more than 1000m link-up the so-called aacidophilic highland beech-woods, which are creating a transition to the highest vegetative layer - highland spruce-woods. They were to be found only in the highest layers of the Novohrad mountains and in Šumava. Most of them have been transformed into beech mono-cultures and only in some areas (i.e. in Smrčina) have they kept their natural form.

Thermophilic beechwoods at Smrčina, foto: Václav Dolanský

In the higher layers of the region - over 1200m above sea level - there appeared highland climax spruce-woods. We can see them in their most preserved form at the bordering ridges between Plechý and Třístoličník or partly in the massif Smrčina and Boubín. Characteristic species here are: reed bent grass Calamagrostis villosa, wood-rush Luzula sylvatica, Streptopus amplexifolius, fern Athyrium distentifolium etc.

Water lily, foto: Václav Dolanský   Labrador tea, foto: Václav Dolanský

Very significant is the complex of peat bogs, wetland and water vegetation, which is to be found mainly in Vltavský luh (1st zone of NP Šumava) between Lenora and Nová Pec. It consists of valley raised peat bogs (the largest and most important of them is Mrtvý luh) with a growth of bog pine (Pinus rotundata), peat and wet meadows and the water current of the Vltava and its dead branches. The most important species here are water lily Nuphar pumila, water milfoil Myriophyllum alterniflorum, sedge Carex lasiocarpa, orchid Dactylorhiza traunsteineri, Naumburgia thyrsiflora; on the peat there is, for instance, sedge Carex pauciflora, bog rosemary (Andromeda polifolia), bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum), hare's-tail cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum), sometimes also rannoch-rush (Scheuchzeria palustris) and labrador tea (Ledum palustre). The most precious complex of this kind of vegetation, however, is under the surface of Lake Lipno. Some smaller peat have grown also in the highland layer of the Novohrad and Vyšebrod mountains. Other few small-area highland peat bogs can be found in the complex of Smrčina and Plechý, where the most important specie is deergrass (Trichophorum caespitosum). In the soggy areas and in the edges of the peat bogs some types of wood group connect. The most common are soggy spruce-woods among the water currents, where for instance Soldanella montana appears very often. Sometimes peat spruce-woods appear in the spring-area peat bogs and the floristically rich spring-area spruce-alder-woods have a high regional importance in the area of Černá in Pošumaví and Plánička.

Czech gentian    Irish marsh-orchid

Relatively floristically rich are some types of foothill and highland meadows. Their species' complex is the result of the long-time existence of traditional cultivation and influence of inappropriate agricultural intensification activities in the recent past. From the protected, rare or otherwise important vegetable species here grow for instance: orange lily (Lilium bulbiferum), green-winged orchid (Orchis morio), Irish marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis), common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), butterfly orchid Platanthera bifolia, butterfly orchid Platanthera chlorantha, lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica etc. Also appearing very rarely is gentian Gentianella bohemica, which is and endemitic plant of the Czech Republic and was very common in all stony pastures in the past.

Dactylorhiza fuchsii, foto: RNDr. Alena Vydrová   White hellebore, foto: Václav Dolanský, foto: RNDr. Alena Vydrová   Protected fleur-de-lis (Lilium martagon), foto: RNDr. Alena Vydrová

Hellebore, foto: Václav Dolanský   Doronicum austriacum, foto: Václav Dolanský

Very sufficient group plants are species with eastern-Alpine origin, which appear, excluding the Alps, sometimes in the highland and foothills layers of the Novohrad mountains, Blanský Forest and south Šumava. Some dozens of them exist. One of the most important is cress Cardamine trifolia, which grows in flowery beech-woods of the Novohrad mountains and south part of Šumava, with Crocus albiflorus and Calycocorsus stipitatus, growing in wet meadows, fair maids of France (Ranunculus aconitifolius) and white hellebore (Veratrum album), growing in meadow and wood spring-areas of the central parts of the Novohrad mountains and south part of Šumava. The white helebore is the only one specie that cannot be seen anywhere else in the Czech Republic but only in Českokrumlovsko.

Orange lily, foto: Václav Dolanský   Siberian iris, foto: Václav Dolanský


Further information :
Description of Natural Conditions in the Český Krumlov Region
National Nature Reserves in the Český Krumlov Region
Sights of Natural Beauty in the Český Krumlov Region
Nature Reserves in the Český Krumlov Region
Natural parks
The lime tree in the community of Běleň


© Sdružení Oficiálního informačního systému Český Krumlov, 2000
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