With about 3,500 different plant species (including lichens and algae), more than one third of all plants recorded in Austria are found in the Hohe Tauern National Park.
The preservation of this diversity is due, among other things, to the protective regulations of the National Park, which offers them an undisturbed environment. Furthermore, the plants are considered the food basis for many insects and thus also enable their survival in the high mountains.
The yellow-green lichen grows mainly on old larches, but also on stone pines and wooden roofs. In former times, a powder made from the wolf lichen was used to poison foxes and wolves. The biocoenosis consisting of a fungus and an alga is very resistant and thus counts as a pioneer plant. The wolf lichen absorbs the nutrients it needs to live from rainwater.
The dense, woolly-white, spherical, 2 to 3 centimetre large spikelets are the distinctive feature of the white cottongrass.
White cottongrass grows on acid wet soil and can thus be found only near small lakes, small bodies of water and low-moor bogs. With its long runners it contributes to the silting up of bodies of water. The protected flower blooms in summer from June to July.