Evergreen oak wood remnants in Capri

7/08/2012

This is the backbone of Capri flora, the endemic evergreen plants also present in the small world of private gardens: Going up by chairlift to Monte Solaro, you can see the remnants of mediterranean wood, consisting first of all of evergreen oaks (quercus ilex), that covered the island before the Romans settled here in about 60 BC. Then again, in the Middle Ages and at the onslaught of modern tourism in the 19th century, the woods gave way to macchia, also due to fires. The wood then does not come back but the soil is settled by the macchia - low bushes such as strawberry trees, junipers, sage, growing thickly to keep the humidity even during the hot summer months. In very sunny and dry spots the soil is settled by garrigue plants - many aromatic herbs are part of these, such as rosemary, lavender, cistus roses and thyme.


So the natural flora in Capri depends on the location and exposure to the sun. Remnants of the ancient evergreen oaks that once covered the whole island can be seen best taking a ride to Monte Solaro (589 meters), that can be reached by a chairlift from Anacapri. Watch the ride here.