Sulcis Park

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This park covers about 173.000 acres of the south-western area of Sardinia; it includes four Mountain Communities, fifteen Municipalities, a vast mountainous area encompassing the Cixerri Valley (to the north), the Plain of Villaperuccio, Giba and Narcao (to the west), the coast of Capoterra and Villa San Pietro (to the east), S. Margherita di Pula, the Gulf of Teulada, and the Bay of Chia (to the south).

This huge area is acknowledged as a Protected Area, rather than a mere natural park, as the Sardinian Region has not appointed any specific administrative body yet.
Given the impressive extension of the park and the inevitable bureaucratic implications, its very size may be soon redesigned and reduced.

The endemic flora represents the 8% of the total number of species, with a remarkable presence of Sardinian-Corsican varieties (31%), and endemic Sardinian ones (29%). There are 841 species in total, 65 are endemic in areas with limited diffusion. The most representative are Armeria sulcitana (from Sulcis), Helichrysum montelinasanum (from Mount Linas), Salix arrigonii (Arrigoni’s willow) and Ophrys x maremmae O. et E. Danesh ssp. woodii (Woodii’s hybrid bee orchid).

Armeria sulcitana and Helichrysum montelinasanum can be found in the rockiest areas, and on the highest peaks, while Salix arrigonii is widespread along the streams and near the springs, at any altitude. Woodii’s hybrid bee orchids are extremely rare and can be found in the Gutturu Mannu Valley.

Visitors may also enjoy the splendid blooms of Pancratium illyricum L., Crocus minimus DC., Barbarea rupicola Moris, Genista corsica (Loisel.) DC. in Lam. et DC., Ophrys morisii (Martelli) Soò in Keller et al., Bellium bellidioides L. , and Verbascum conocarpum Moris.

There are also many tree or shrub species of particular interest or extremely rare in the park, such as Buxus balearica Lam. (Balearic boxwood), Taxus baccata L. (yew), Ilex aquifolium L. (holly), Erica terminalis Salisb. (Corsican heath), Celtis australis L. (hackberry), Laurus nobilis L. (laurel), and Vitex agnus-castus L. (chaste tree).

Balearic boxwood grows only in Barbusi and is the most exotic one and the only acknowledged variety in Italy. Yews, on the other hand, can be found in the avalanche chutes of Mount Lattias and Mount Santo di Pula, along with holly. Along the streams, there are Corsican heath, hackberry, and laurel specimens, as well as chaste trees growing only along Rio di Chia.

In order to admire all the abovementioned plant species, visitors should visit the following locations: Pta Sebera, Monte Santo di Pula, Pta Cresia, Calamixi, Scillaras, Mount Lattias, Mount Tamara, and Mount Arcosu.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


09100 Cagliari(CA)

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