The Flora of Vendicari

Vendicari since it’s “wetland coast area” it’s rich in water, but this abundance is ecologically diminished from their high content of salinity.

Therefore, in its ecosystems only plants can live, able to adapt to this particular characteristic. They can do this in two different ways: by becoming halophyte species, (plants equipped with morphological or physiological adaptations which allow the settlement on saline soils or alkali) or succulent (those plants with particular tissues called “succulent”, the parenchyma aquifers, thanks to which they can store large amounts of water).

The first ones have cellular juices with high osmotic pressure able to absorb solutions with a strong concentration.

The second ones accumulate in their tissues reserves of freshwater: they behave as those who live on dry soils (as fat plants). These plants also have reduction of leaf surfaces to minimize the transpiration and therefore the loss of water, thus having needle-shaped leaves as the juniper, reduced to scales as in tamarisks, gathered in adherent rose as in Limonium, or almost missing as in Glasswort.

Another environmental factor strongly discriminating is the consistency of the substrate on which settle plants: rocky and sandy substrate, as all the coastal band of Vendicari is a continuous alternation of rocky and sandy stretches. The vegetation has a corresponding alternation between associations of rock and sand plants.

If you look at the vegetation of a rocky stretch, proceeding from the sea toward the interior,
We find the following series:

  • A short strip “afitoica”, affected by the tide and splashes of the waves during the storms
  • A narrow band of halophilous rock plants that extends from 2 to 10 meters , in which dominates sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum), Chicory spinosa (Cicorium spinosum), Limonium syracusanum and Limonium Virgatum.
  • A narrow garrigue band consisting of low shrubs to cushion of Thymus (Timus capitatus), Spinaporci(Sarcopoterium spinosum), Palmetto(chamaerops humilis), Teucrium Fruticans including some wonderful orchids.

Behind these associations dominated by grasses, in a more sheltered position from the sea, sits a special vegetation: the prickly Juniper, dominated of course from this species ( Juniperusmacrocarpa), but with a rich court of other essences: Ephedra fragilisPistacla lemiscusPhyllirea angustifoliaClematis cirrhosaRosmarinus officinalis etc.
This spot develops on the entire area adjacent to the Pantano Roveto and reaches its maximum splendour by Cittadella Maccari

Vegetation of rocky sections

The rocky sections are proceeding from the sea toward the inside, as for example, that of the Cittadella Maccari in the southern area of the reserve.

Narrow strip of the garrigue, a maquis  Band- i.e.-rock
  • Lentisk (Pistacia lentiscus)
  • Wast (Olea europaea sylvestris)
  • Phyllirea (Phillyrea angustifolia)
  • Myrtle ( Myrtus communis)
  • Scilla marina (urginea maritima )
  • Dwarf palm (chamaerops humilis)
  • Sea fennel (Crithmum maritimum)
  • Thorny chicory (Cichorium spinosum)
  • Limonium syracusanum
  • Limonium virgatum (o oleifolium)
Band- i.e.-hydric  Narrow band a garrigue
  • Knows We Find Them glaucum
  • Expances
  • Salicornia radicantis
  • Triglochin bulbosum
  • Hordeum maritimum (o marinum)
  • Limonium serotinum
  • Hyparrhenia hirta
  • Lotus edulis
  • Stipa retorta
  • Trifolium stellatum
  • Iris sisyrinchium
  • Suade vera
  • Shrubs of thyme (Thymus capitatus)
  • Spinaporci (Sarcopoterium spinosum)
  • Dwarf palm (Chamaerops humilis)
  • Spazzaforno (Thymelaea hirsuta)
  • Female camedrio  (Teucrium fruticans)
  • Timothy iris (Iris planifolia)
  • Prasium majus
  • Many species of orchids
Vegetation inland shores of Pantani Submerged vegetation in pantani
  • Scirpus spp.
  • Carex spp.
  • Juncus spp.
  • Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
  • Home cane (Arundo donax)
  • Ruppia maritima
  • Potamogeton pectinatus
  • Lamprothanium papulosum

Vegetation of sandy

By the stretches of sandy coast closest to the sea, such as those adjacent to Pantano del Rovereto, as well as to a strip afitoica (beach), you can find:

Vegetation ephemeral Juniperus macrocarpa
  • Cakile maritima
  • Salsola kali
  • Euphorbia peplis
  • Potygonum maritimum
  • Ephedra fragilis
  • Pistacia lentiscus
  • Phillyrea angustifolia
  • Clematis cirrhosa
  • Rosmarinus officinalis
Grass Band hermerocallis
  • Agropyrum junceum mediterraneum
  • Sporobolus arenarius
  • Eryngium maritimum
  • Echinophora spinosa
  • Cyperus capitatus
  • Cutandia maritima Ammophila arenaria
  • Medicago marina
  • Larenea resedifolia
  • Pancratium maritimum
Riserva Vendicari