© Génépi | Patrick Domeyne / AD05

All the virtues of Alpine plants

For those of you who loved pressing flowers when you were children, to fans of botany or those who swear by old-fashioned remedies, head for the Southern French Alps to discover the properties of some emblematic mountain plants.

The unavoidable genepi

A plant which flourishes in the Alps

Are you wondering where you can find genepi? In the Southern Alps of course! And believe us, it’s a plant with a fair amount of surprises in store. This fragile protected species is subject to limited picking conditions. Olivier grows it lovingly and then processes it in his workshop. Delicious jams and other products await you in Les Prads, in the municipality of Saint-Paul sur Ubaye. At Chez Guillaumette, they use the resources of the Champsaur and traditional methods to make a typical alcohol: genepi liqueur. We recommend stopping by the factory to find out how it’s made. In the Mercantour, genepi flourishes due to an ideal mountain climate. You can find it in the composition of the products of the Ferme des Mérinos in Utelle. A piece of advice: you just must taste the confit de génépi (genepi chutney) a sweet and savoury mix for original flavours!

Sea buckthorn, a shot of Vitamin C

Get your strength back

Do you know sea buckthorn? This pretty orangey-red berry is excellent forgiving your body a boost and avoiding winter ailments! In the Ubaye Valley, David Viveau is an experienced sea buckthorn producer. Not far from there, the little sea buckthorn berry is also cherished in the Buech, at Natvit. Cordials, juices, jams and fruit jellies: to be eaten in all its forms to provide a good dose of Vitamin C. This miraculous little berry is also rich in antioxidants and is the ideal health fruit for the family and athletes. One or two teaspoons of sea buckthorn juice are sufficient to feel fit right through the day, and Emmanuel can confirm it!

The larch, a resinous wood with good taste

The pleasure and sweetness of the plant

Among the specialities of the Alps, larch liqueur is a real must. The flower of this tree which grows abundantly around Serre-Ponçon is carefully distilled in the famous house of La Vinciane in the Southern French Alps. Food-lovers will also be tempted by the jams of Les Confitures Les Gaillardises de l’Ubaye . The larch bud one stands out for its delicate aroma and strong resinous flavour, a true pleasure at any time of day. Around Orcières, Les Délices Orsatus will be a treat for your taste buds. We recommend the délice au mélèze (larch delicacy), it’s literally “love in a jar”, both for its taste and in the elaboration of the finished product! In Saint-Martin-Vésubie, Sarah and Nicolas produce mouth-watering larch flower confits and larch ice cream. Just what you need for a little refreshing break. At Le Verger Saint-Joseph, edible wild plants hold no secrets and all the products are prepared with the same passion. The larch tree has a lot to offer!

The edelweiss, queen of the mountains

A flower to pamper your skin and your taste buds

In the family of edible wild plants, the edelweiss is more than surprising! This extremely rare high mountain plant is used both in cosmetics and in cookery. It is much appreciated for its anti-inflammatory properties. At Laboratoire Nature et Montagne, the flower enters into natural 100% Alpine cosmetics. Take a moment to visit it. The baume à l’edelweiss, with its protective properties is your best ally against chapped lips. And for the great food lovers among you, head for the Ferme du Clot. You can taste the different Alpine plant-based specialities including the famous edelweiss to be discovered in another form.

A picking-hike to get to the roots of the plant

From the raw product to the processed product

For those of you who are 100 % nature hike enthusiasts, Rando Passion will take you on a memorable picking-hike. Put on your trainers and set off to pick everything you need to prepare a super meal! Learn how to recognize and respect plants, and then enjoy a delicious meal in the soothing, friendly atmosphere of a yurt. In the Dévoluy, set off on an adventure with Luc Bernard. The plant lover will go with you and reveal all the secrets of picking Alpine plants. During a “contemplative walk”, you will establish a deep connexion which will help you to get a true understanding of nature. And to make the pleasure last and extend your journey in the world of Alpine flowers and plants, head for the Arboretum Marcel Kroenlein and its many entertainments.

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