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Flora – The Majella

The flora and vegetation present in the Majella are also remarkable. Its position as the most Southerly part in Europe of the Alpine Region means it is a crossroads of generic flux, with categories of great environmental and phytogeographical value: with over 2, 118 different specimens the Park is host to 67% of the flora of Abruzzo, 36% of Italian flora, and 22% of European flora.

The forest landscape of the Majella is represented by deciduous temperate forest of various types: sub – Mediterranean Oak, Birch, Cerris, Beech, and also by evergreen plants, from the great expanses of Alpine pines at high altitudes, to the more sporadic and rare Ilex and Black Pine woods.

From the naturalistic point of view, the Park is a natural crossroads for the continuity of the ecosystem of the entire world. In this sense, it has a fundamental significance for the ecological well-being of the whole of the Apennine. The Majella is without comparison for its patrimony of biodiversity of vegetation: over 2, 000 species of plants have been listed, about one-third of the entire flora of Italy with Mediterranean, Alpine, Balkan, Pontic, Pyrenean and Arctic elements.

Beechwoods characterize the natural landscape up to a height of 1700 – 1800 metres, often enriched by yew, holly, sorb, maple, cerris, black hornbeam, manna ash and several species of fruit tree. On the peaks and upland plains, covered in snow from October to June, many species which arrived on the Majella with the Quaternary glaciations and the drying up of the Adricatic have found their ideal habitat here.

The subsequent withdrawal of the glacier and the consequent genetic isolation has led to differentiation of the original species into new and sub-species, endemic or sub-endemic, which today constitute an invaluable patrimony. These include: The Majella violet, Magellense buttercup, Alpine edelweiss, Magellense gentian, glacial dandelion, Majella columbine, lady’s slipper, Sabine juniper, calex, cantaurea di Tenore and many others.

In the zones between 1, 700 and 2, 300 metres the Alpine pine is dominant, with the greatest expanses in the Apennines, often accompanied by other species of shrub such as the dwarf juniper, the rare Alpine sorb, bear-berry, savin, bilberry and many others. Many valuable Mediterranean species contribute to the enrichment of the wealth of vegetation in the mountains.

Trees such as the ilex and Lobel’s maple reach their most northerly limits in the warmest areas of the Majella. Of the most characteristic species of the Park, pride of place should go to the birch a relic from times past, found in the valley of Macchialunga at Fara San Martino, accompanied by species of noteworthy geobotanic interest such as the black honeysuckle, the black myrtle and the lady’s sliper, as well as the rare black pine of Fara San Martino, found only on the inaccessible crags in the gorges of Fara San Martino.

The woods of Sant’Antonio, in the commune of Pescocostanzo at the foot of the monte Pizzalto, form a very important landscape. They cover about 80 hectares of hillside, and are made up of imposing ancient beech, superbly modelled by the bites of grazing animals. This is perhaps the most classical example which shows that when an eco-compatible model of territorial use is put into action, not only is there not a destruction od natural resources, but they are also preserved.

Majella National Park – Geomorphology

Majella National Park – Fauna

Majella National Park – History

Walking Holidays – Majella

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  1. Be Responsible …. we Love Majella «

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