orchideaPollino National Park’s flora’s main quality is, without a doubt, diversity, as the many different species scattered all over the land testify; another main feature of the Park is the peculiar climate. Some of the rarest plants grow around here, which makes it unique in the whole Mediterranean area. The Park’s flora, which depends on altitude, is also heavily influenced by microclimates, type of soil and solar exposure.

Nearby the coast, high up to 700-800 meters, the area is characterized by the presence of the Maquis shrubland, which involves: holm oak (Quercus ilex), lentisc (Pistacia lentiscus), juniper (Juniperus communis, Juniperus oxycedrus, Juniperus phoenicea), myrtle (Myrtus communis), strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), downy oak (Quercus pubescens), Montpellier maple (Acer monspessulanum) and weaver’s broom (Spartium junceum). Where sand and rock prevail, there’s a mostly arid climate, therefore the flora that mostly characterizes the area, which is called “gariga”, involves aromatic species like: cistus (Cistus salvifolius, Cistus incanus, Cistus monspeliensis), thyme (Thimus capitatus), wall germander (Teucrium fruticans); other species that are present in the area are evergreen grasses, which make the so-called Mediterranean steppe.

In some areas of the Park, along the most exposed ones of St. Lawrence hills, nearby Cassano and Porace, thanks to the rock’s ability to incorporate heat, you can still find some Maquis shrubland high up to 900 meters. Between 800 and 1100 meters, it’s the oak that prevails with its different types: downy (Quercus pubescens), Turkey oak (Quercus cerris), Italian oak (Quercus frainetto). Together with oaks, you can often find: Eastern hornbeam (Carpinus orientalis), maple (Acer obtusatum), chestnut (Castanea sativa), Neapolitan alder (Alnus cordata); the latter one is a species that is typical of Corsica and southern Apennine. Particularly interesting are Mount Sparviere’s extended maple woods, on the Ionian side: they put together five different species of maple: field maple (Acer campestre), sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), Lobel’s maple (Acer lobelii), Hungarian maple (Acer obtusatum), Norway maple (Acer platanoides)..