coastal cliffs

The southern exposure of the northern slope of the Carsiana means that in this part of the garden some of the species typical of the coastal karst of Trieste find conditions to their liking. In this area the vegetation is that of Mediterranean scrub and woodland which here in particular is dominated by Evergreen (or Holm) Oaks (Quercus ilex).
The karst in the area of Trieste, is characterized by the encounter of two climatic types. Along the coast, with its high cliffs we find the most northerly point reached by the Mediterranean climate which, over the first ridge of hills merges imperceptibly into a cooler ‘Illyrian’ continental-type climate. This coexistence of factors is reflected in a plant composition that sees juxtaposed evergreen species such as Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis), Broad-leaved Phyllirea (Phyllirea latifolia), Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus), Madder (Rubia peregrina) and  Etruscan honeysuckle (Lonicera etrusca), typical of the Mediterranean coast, together with thermophilous deciduous species of Balkan origin such as the Hop Hornbeam (Ostrya carpinifolia), Manna Ash (Fraxinus ornus) and the Montpellier Maple (Acer monspessulanum). The species encountered in the area of the coastal cliffs are therefore typical of the Mediterranean and their structure and physiology are adapted to this climate. Moreover, along the coastal cliffs above the sea close to Trieste, the scarce soils and exposure to winds and salinity creates an environment which is unsuitable for the trees to grow large and, therefore, these environments are characterized by low vegetation consisting mostly of endemic species such as, for example, the Pyramidal Bellflower (Campanula pyramidalis), Yellow Germander (Teucrium flavum), Wulfen’s Spurge (Euphorbia wulfenii). Aromatic and / or thorny species are also a feature of these environments and include plants such as Wild Sage (Salvia officinalis), Turpentine Tree (Pistacia terebinthus), Common Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Christ’s Thorn (Paliurus spina-cristi) and the Wild Asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius).

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