Upolínová louka pod Křížky National Nature Monument

The Upolínová louka pod Křížky (Globe Flower Meadow under Křížky) NNM was first declared in 1990 on an area of 17.77ha and at elevations of 785-804 metres above sea level. The monument lies in the parish of Prameny in the Karlovarský kraj - Karlovy Vary Region and represents a typical complex of marshy meadow communities on the territory of the Slavkovský les Forest (Protected Landscape Area), with the occurrence of several rare and protected plant species, including the tiny bilberry willow (Salix myrtilloides) and the globe flower (Trollius altissimus). A series of information panels provide visitors to this protected area and the neighbouring Křížky National Nature Monument. The central section of the specially protected area is accessible to the public along a wooden walkway.
 
The territory is covered with weathering products and talus with fragments of serpentinite and actinolite from the nearby serpentinite outcrops. The basement under the actual meadows is formed of older “mountain” granites which belong to the geomorphological unit of the Krásenská vrchovina Hilly Country. Biotite amphibolite is another significant rock type which is represented in the basement.
 
A variety of soil types have developed on the basement: typical Cambisol, dystric Cambisol and slope Cambisol of the ranker type. Wetter localities are covered by Gleysols, cambic Pseudogley and acidic pseudogleyic Cambisol.
 
The central section of the monument consists of a shallow valley which is drained by a small stream which flows into the Dlouhá stoka reservoir on the edge of the protected area. Here we can find sedge-sphagnum moss communities of a transition peatbog where a layer of peat has formed. At the highest level of the monument along its northern border there is a small area of contiguous growths of the rare bilberry willow (Salix myrtilloides), accompanied by dense growths of the sphagnum mosses Sphagnum fallax and Sphagnum teres, bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and marsh cinquefoil (Comarum palustre). The pools are covered with growths of broad-leaved pondweed (Potamogeton natans), which represents the final stage of development of a mountain pool before it turns back into dry land. In addition to the globe flower (Trollius altissimus) a range of other rare and endangered plants grow on these “globe flower meadows”. The tall, blue-flowered Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), the sedge Carex umbrosa, the tiny creeping willow Salix rosmarinifolia, the narrow-leaved marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza longebracteata) and broad-leaved marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis) all grow on these meadows. On the mat-grass (Nardus) meadow we can also observe a number of remarkable species such as the bitter vetchling (Lathyrus linifolius) and lousewort (Pedicularis sylvatica).
 
Black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) occasionally visit the meadows during their mating season and several pairs of corncrakes (Crex crex) nest here. Adders (Vipera berus) are quite often seen in the undergrowth, while the amphibians – pool frog (Rana lessonae) and common frog (Rana temporaria) are represented here. The moorland clouded yellow butterfly (Colias palaeno) and other insects which are typical for peaty, mountain meadows have been observed on the “globe flower meadows” below Křížky.