Flora & Fauna....... Astrantia major

Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
Order: Apiales
Family: Apiaceae
Genus: Astrantia
Species: A. Major

   Astrantia major, common name Great Masterwort, is an herbaceous, perennial plant with a rhizome, belonging to the family Apiaceae. Astrantia malor reaches on average 60 centimetres of height. The sten is erect, with little branches and few leaves. The basal leaves have a long, 10-20 centimetres petiole, 3 to 7 lobes and toothed segments. The cauline leaves are generally two, sessile, amplexicaul and lanceolate-shaped with a trilobed apex. The inflorescence is umbrella-shaped, with 2-3 centimetres of diameter. The floral bracts are numerous (10 - 20), 10-18 millimetre long, reddish with acuminate apex. The flowering period extends from June through September. Main varieties of Astrantia major include "Ruby Cloud", "Rubra", "Snow Star", "Sunningdale Variegated", "Lars", "Star of Heaven" and "Rosea". These plants native of Europe (Pyrenees, Carpathians and Balkans), but also in Caucasus up to Anatolia. They are common in mountain meadows and grasslands, in forests and clearings and close to the streams, usually on the calcareous soils, at an altitude of 100-2,300 metres (330-7,500 ft) above sea level.