Flora

Flora

Mount Etna, with its impressive development in altitude up to 3,300 mt, provides a variety of flora of rare beauty to visitors. The lower altitudinal levels, strongly influenced by the presence of humans and a relatively mild climate, are characterized by large cultivations of vineyards and hazelnuts trees, often alternating with chestnuts trees, apple trees and semi-deciduous oak forests. At higher altitudes you will find the beech (Fagus sylvatica), which here reaches the southern limit of its range, along with the endemic Etna birch (Betula aetnensis) and the big larch pine (Pinus nigra ssp. calabrica), locally called "zappinu" and often associated with the presence of the hemispheric juniper (Juniperus hemisphaerica). At higher altitude a high mountain vegetation can be found, characterized by the Astragalus (Astragalus siculus), which provides shelter to other important species like the Etna violet (Viola aethnensis) and glaucous groundsel (Senecio aethnensis). Up to 3,000 mt of altitude, the hostile climate and the characteristics of the substrate do not allow the growth of any plant.