The alpine knot le ttuce(Chondrilla chondrilloides) is a rather inconspicuous composite plant, which grows 15 - 30 cm high. The pioneer plant community "Knorpelalatflur" is named after it. As a typical pioneer plant of the wild river landscape, the preferred habitats of the alpine knot lettuce are gravel areas that are freshly filled and repeatedly flooded. Its habitat is characterized by constant change. The alpine knotweed is well adapted to this, together with the other plants in its community, such as the creepinggypsophila (Gypsophila repens), the alpine flaxweed(Linaria alpina) and the white silverwort(Dryas octopetala). But once these changes are absent, it is quickly displaced by other plants.
Regulation and damming of numerous rivers in the northern alpine region have almost completely destroyed relocation routes and thus the habitat of cartilaginous lettuce.
The cartilaginous lettuce meadow is one of the most endangered plant communities in Central Europe. It also provides habitat for the spotted snail cricket(Bryodema tuberculata), one of the largest and most beautiful field grasshoppers in Central Europe.