A Small Botanical Paradise in the Gulf of Naples

6/10/2012

Here I want to convey a first impression of Capri's indigenous flora to you. When the Romans first embarked on the islands at the times of Emperor Augustus about 2000 years ago, they found an island fully covered by low-growing macchia and evergreen oak woods, the so-called leccio.
A Picture from the Belvedere La Tragara: typical plants: Pines (pini marittimi), lecci, low-growing macchia bushes
these are the leaves of a leccio
A few palme nane also grew there, as on the Sorrento Peninsula which Capri was once a part of. On the north-eastern coast of Capri, near the Bagni di Tiberio, you can still see some plants of palma nana (dwarf palm) in their natural habitat.
Palma nana near the Bagni di Tiberio beach
A survivor of the gardens the Romans set up in Capri is the myrtle - mirto tree, ...
The ever-present myrtle with white blossoms
...growing alongside with juniper and lentisco plants,
Lentisco plant
... laurels, cisto (rockroses), and corbezzoli (arbutus plants, with red fruits in autumn, looking a bit like strawberries).
Corbezzolo
So this is a botanical paradise packed in just over 10 sqkm where the ancient local plants grow together with those tropical ones introduced by men to embellish their gardens, from agaves to rosmarine. oleanders and bougainville. They all take extremely well in that reddish soil spots surrounded by lime rocks.