Our recent escape to the italian alpine regions of Lombardy and Trentino was to have been a bit of a “snooping session” into private little kitchen gardens, but the real surprise ended up being what flourished up at higher altitudes. Of the two shown here, I was only able to identify one.
This achene seed head (also called a fruit) with its filament-like appearance belongs to a floral genus which goes by names such as Easter flower and meadow anemone among others, but in Italy it is known as Infiorescenza di anemone alpino. I thought of them as interesting-looking weeds up until I found an italian article (cited source) which offered vernacular examples translating into hair of the witch or hair of the devil. I suppose they'd give such an impression with that red color!
The name to this flower, unfortunately, I've no clue. If anyone can identify it, please do. A third species, the edelweiss or stella alpina was one which I had hoped so much to see but was to be found nowhere. They grow at higher altitudes and getting caught picking them fetches you a hefty(?) fine. I found out that seeds are actually available online, even if I do not know of anyone who cultivates them. You can bet that edelweiss is on the flower garden planning board for next year.