Corsica is an exception not just because of culture or food, but contrasting and rich flora makes it like no other island. The island’s history also helps with this. During the Antiquity period there was mass exportation of woods and that destroyed many forests in Corsica. Nowadays, they are replaced by maquis which are densely growing green bushes which stay green all year long. Most famous trees which are occupying the island are grapevines, olive trees and figs, they were brought over by the Greeks. Genoese reintroduced chestnut trees and clementine started to grow in Corsica during the 20thcentury.
There are 22, 500 species of plants on the island. 140 of them originated in Corsica and 80 in Sardinia. Because of island’s isolation some species have developed characteristics that you won’t be able to find elsewhere in the world.
By the coast you can find exotic and wild flora such as aloe, eucalyptus, tamarix, juniper, wild olive trees, pistachio nut trees, pin, thyme, myrtle, chestnut, lavender and so on. When everything blooms, the smells are mesmerizing. Some plants grow right there on the dunes, they adapted to being occasionally sprayed with sea water, and these plants survive strong winds and heat.
Corsican pine, cedar, sweet woodruff, yew trees are just couple of coniferous species that grow in the mountains of the island. Going up, at an altitude of 2000 meters, flora becomes smaller, for example shrubbery like barberry and juniper. Everything is covered in “pozzine” – it is natural grassland where specific species of plants grow, such as rushes, buttercups, carex, matgrass and many more.
This all year-round green covers 40 percent of Corsica. Maquis grow up to an altitude of 1000 meters. It is bushy, fragrant and dense and it consists of strawberry trees, broom, myrtle, thyme, rosemary, honeysuckle and others. Maquis can also be found in Portugal, Morocco, and Algeria. A lot of wild animals and mushrooms (boletus, pleurotus, amanita, and many morel) in autumn can call it a home.
Mints of Corsica
There are several varieties of mint which grow on the island, they all have very strong aromas and flavors. It is a staple in Mediterranean cuisine. You can use the mint for stews, sauces, soups, omelets or other delicacies. It is best to grow them in pots, because they are spreading very fast, they have freedom and perfect weather conditions to do so in Corsica. The island is full of raw materials for food, to add more flavor to whatever meal you’re cooking, so Corsicans need to be thankful for their lush flora which gives them not just spices, but mushrooms, fruits and vegetables. In autumn, you can find a lot of goodies by the coastline and in the mountains, so you can prepare a delicious dinner from just what you find.
Why do you feel like in a perfume shop?
Fragrances are released from the leaves of the plants. They sleep during winter season but when temperature start rising, the production of oil increases and marks the beginning of the aromatic season, until the next winter. Levels of fragrance vary during the day because of temperature changes.