Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Moving House to Switzerland: Native Plants and Trees to Discover when You Settle

If you moving house to Switzerland and enjoy spending time in nature, your new home in Europe will give you hours of pleasure. From the dramatic scenery of the Alps, to the hilly open countryside and parklands, Switzerland is a haven for those who enjoy the great outdoors.

While most people move house to Switzerland to take up a job offer, it is also a wonderful place to relocate to enjoy a better lifestyle. Here you can go for a scenic hike in the mountains, explore one of the many nature reserves, or visit the breathtakingly beautiful San Grato Botanical Park in Lugano.

Meanwhile, if you enjoy plants, trees and flowers, this article looks at some of the most common species you can find in Switzerland, as well as rare and unusual plants you may be lucky to find.

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Alpine Plants

Switzerland is home to hundreds of alpine plants: these rugged, sometimes colourful plants are able to survive tough conditions, such as high altitudes and extreme temperatures, and some have healing properties. Stem cells extracted from the Alpine Rose, for instance, is used in a sought after skin cream; and Edelweiss, also known as the Snow Plant, is known for its anti-oxidant, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties and is unofficially regarded as Switzerland’s national plant.

The Alpine Rose, or Snow Rose, is an evergreen shrub that produces clusters of flowers delicate in appearance and bright pink in colour. Edelweiss, or Snow Plant, is white in colour, prefers rocky surfaces and high altitudes, and actually belongs to the sunflower family.

Another common alpine plant is the Cowslip, which lies quite close to the ground and has yellow, funnel shaped flowers – the flowers and roots are used to treat colds. You will find these aplenty once your removals to Switzerland have been completed and you have settled in your new home.

Swiss Trees

There are two types of trees: deciduous trees, which are those that shed all or some of their leaves seasonally, and coniferous trees, which keep their leaves and generally produce cones. Switzerland has both varieties, and among the most common types of deciduous trees are oak, beech and maple, all of which can be found on lower ground and generally don’t grow at altitudes of above 4,500 metres.

Linden trees can also be found in Switzerland and there is a mention of one in the area of Naters on a 14th century document that described the tree as ‘huge’. The Linden tree of Murten has a legend attached to it – a heroic messenger ran, carrying a branch of the tree, to bring news of victory at the Battle of Murten in 1476. He collapsed, exhausted, and a lime tree grew on the spot where he had fallen. Thought to have medicinal properties, its flowers are used to treat common colds, ease inflammation and relieve headaches as well as other ailments such as inflammation and high blood pressure.

The coniferous trees that can be found in Switzerland are pine, fir and spruce, and these can be found at the higher altitudes.

Rare and Unusual Plants   

Switzerland has a number of plant species that are endangered and there are a variety of agencies and organisations that have been set up to protect them. This includes The Swiss Committee for the Preservation of Wild Plants that coordinates the actions in Switzerland in dealing with the protection of rare and endangered plants.

Among them are Poplar trees and, although it’s quite common to see foreign originated Poplar trees, the ones native to Switzerland such as Poplar Nigra (Black Poplar), and the Poplar Alba (White Poplar) are protected as they are few and far between. 

Another vulnerable plant species in Switzerland is the Narcissus Poeticus (or Poet’s Daffodil), a flower linked with the Greek legend of Narcissus. It has pure white petals and is intensely fragrant, so it is often used in perfumes.

Among the unusual variety of plants are the small trees that can be found in higher altitudes in Switzerland and resemble Japanese Bonsai trees.

About Hamiltons Removals

Hamiltons Removals are specialists in domestic and commercial removals to Switzerland and can help in all aspects of your move, from packing and unpacking, to organising long or short term storage. For more information about Hamiltons and how we can help with European removals, just click on the link below.

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