Irminio River Mastic Tree Forest

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Pistacia lentiscus L.

In Sicily, there is a forest of several dozen specimens of mastic trees (called “restincu” in Sicilian dialect), approximately 200 years old. They can be found in the Mediterranean forest of Gravina (RG), along the sandy coast between Marina di Ragusa and Donnalucata and within the protection zone A of “Macchia Foresta del Fiume Irminio” special Biological Nature Reserve.
Those trees feature a prostrate bearing with twisted stems, thickly intertwined and thus creating an impenetrable grove called “Macchia-Foresta”. Many plants have reached a trunk circumference of about 2.95 ft, while the largest one measures 3.93 ft.

Among those remarkable specimens, there is also an ancient polycormic mock privet (Phillyrea latifolia), made of three twisted stems, with a collar circumference of 11.5 ft.

How to reach them

In Marina di Ragusa, follow the SP 63 road for about 1.2 miles.

Botanical sheet

The mastic tree is an evergreen shrub of the Anacardiaceae family, widespread throughout the Mediterranean Basin. This plant usually features bush growing habit; its crown is quite thick due to highly abundant branches, while the bark appears grey.
The wood is reddish grained and is used for inlay works. In the past, it was used to make charcoal, while today it still serves the wood-fired ovens in many pizza restaurants as its combustion reaches very high temperatures in no time.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Località Gravina, Marina di Ragusa - Ragusa(RG)

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