Corsica's flora

More than 2,500 species of plants grow in Corsica in their natural state. 131 of these are purely endemic; 165 others are endemic to Corsica and neighbouring regions!

Fortunately, this originality and scarcity have led to protection. As a result, 175 species are protected in Corsica in particular by the law on the protection of wild species of France, which is based on the law of 10 July 1976 on the protection of the nature. The Order of 20 January 1982, supplemented in Corsica by a regional list (decree of 24 June 1986) draws up a list of species (which you can request free of charge from a number of organisations such as the Office de l'environnement de Corsicathe Parc Naturel Régional de Corsica) with full or partial protection.

In addition, five reserves protect this exceptional flora and fauna: Etang de BigugliaIt is home to 127 species of waterfowl, Lavezzi Islands with 68 species of fish, the Cerbical Islands where crested cormorants nest, the reserve of Scandolaa UNESCO World Heritage site, and the Finorcchiarola Islands. This being the Corsican flora is not only protected by laws, but it is up to everyone who loves nature and their fellow man to respect or ensure respect for this wonderful natural heritage!

THE MAQUIS (around 200,000 ha)

Corsican scrublandAn inextricable place with a thousand scents! We say "take the maquis But above all, like Napoleon, the exiles recognised the scent of their island and of the "Ile de France". maquis several kilometres blindfolded. In bloom all year round, the maquis will reveal its fragrant charms as the lentisque and myrtle blossom in July, the white and pink rockroses in May and the arbutus in autumn.

But the maquis is not just a landscape, it's also an essential part of the ecosystem in which people live. corsican. Even today, certain shrubs and other herbs are used in the design of traditional objects, decorations, beneficial products or luxury and well-being products. So there are many possible applications and uses! So please, preserve them! All too often "eradicated" by fires, many landscapes become lunar landscapes without it!

The pozzine (pozzine)

Pozzine Corsicaf you break the word down, you'll find i "pozzi" (wells) and the suffix "ine", which refers to alpine vegetation and the diminutive of small wells. The pozzine are therefore high mountain plant formations Corsica.

These are grassy, hygrophilous lawns that look more like moss than grass, forming small water holes of various shapes thanks to the action of watercourses. They are very sensitive and should not be trampled under the threat of their disappearance in a few years' time, given the increase in use of these areas, the banks of lakes and rivers.


myrthe_corse-corsicaReaching heights of up to 3 metres, the myrtle found mainly on plains and near the sea, is a bushy shrub with elongated sessile evergreen leaves with pronounced central veins. Its berries are used to make myrtle which must be red if it is natural (maceration of berries in brandy and addition of sugar).

Corsican hellebore (a nocca)

hellebore corsica(a nocca)Although poisonous, this plant with its large, beautiful white leaves was once known for its medicinal properties. Animal wounds were treated by heating the roots to extract the juice and kill the worms, thus disinfecting the wound.

The leaves of Nocca were also used to protect and preserve the freshness of cheeses. Finally, it is not uncommon to find this plant in abundance around fountains, its leaves being used to channel the water out of the pipe.

Corsican thyme (erba barona)

This plant can be found in mountainous regions between 500 and 2,000 metres. Mainly used in cooking - tripettes, meats, sauces - and highly prized, it should not be pulled up but cut with scissors!

Scented alder from Corsica

aulne-corseOnce used to make roofs for shepherds' huts, " u Bassu "is an endemic shrub no more than 3 metres high. With its sticky leaves and resinous fragrance, it grows along streams.

Common ferula (a ferula)

ferule_corseThe ferrule can be toxic and dangerous for animals. In the past, shepherds used to make a number of objects, such as lightweight stools, splints for broken bones and walking sticks.

To recognise it: Ferula is large, a kind of oversized fennel, you'll find it by the roadside in dry, rocky soil; you'll see a lot of it on the road to Porto.


The special feature of this little plant is its diet: it's carnivorous! When insects pass close to its fleshy, slimy leaves, they are trapped and engulfed in its secretions. They are then digested by a pepsin contained in the leaf glands.

To recognise it, it is between 5 and 10 cm long, with white flowers and green leaves arranged at the base of the stem in rose petals.


Corsican asphodelSometimes called Taravellu, tirlu, candellu, depending on whether it is green or dry, l'Asphodèle adapts to all types of soil. Flowering in spring and drying in summer, you'll be able to recognise l'Asphodèle thanks to its slender shape, with an average of 1 metre of green stem half a centimetre thick, the last 30 cm having several thinner stems, usually white, which flower at the tips.

In the past, the ancients used l'Asphodèle for spiritual purposes. Sometimes made into crosses to protect harvests, sometimes used by the 'Mazzeri' (those who can cast spells), or simply as torches for lighting. d'Asphodèle will be remembered as swords for children's games.

Drosera rotundifolia

droceraVery rare in CorsicaIt is only found in two very cold, pozzine sites: Crena and Moltifao. It is also a carnivorous plant, which is to some extent an adaptation to its environment, which is very poor in minerals. To capture its prey, it uses its tentacular leaves ending in a slimy drop.

You'll recognise it by its very distinctive appearance: it generally has three or four stems ending in filamentous balls, its leaves are green and a small drop can be seen at the tip.

Bernard's columbine (amore piattu)

Caution: picking is forbidden! It grows in the shade of rocks at altitudes of between 1,000 and 2,500 metres. This small, delicate-looking blue flower measures between 5 and 10 cm. At the end of its stem, the flower seems to be looking at you. Its leaves are green and resemble large clovers.

The serapias (boca di gallu)

Le Serapias is a 10-30 cm plant that grows mainly around ponds and marshes, and flowers in April. Very pretty, the base of its stem is green, gradually fading to orange.

The strawberry tree (l'Albitru)

Arbousier_corseShrub of the maquis From 0 to 900 metres, it is very often surrounded by rockrose and heather. The flower is the main component of winter honey (it produces its fruit from November to January). Its round fruit, red, yellow or green depending on ripeness, has a mild, sweet flavour and is often used to make jam, jelly or brandy. However, it is not recommended for epileptics.

It's easy to spot in the scrubland, as it's a shrub 2 to 6 metres tall with colourful fruit and white flowers almost all year round.

Corsican Peony (U Pavone corsu)

pivoine_corse (Corsican flora)From its scientific name Paomia Mascula" There are two varieties on the island: Mediterranean Russoi and variety Corsicaspecific to the Corsica (its large pink flowers are mainly found in the south of France). Corsica).

Unfortunately, this species is becoming increasingly rare. This phenomenon is due to over-harvesting.

Laricio pine (U Lariciu)

Laricio pine Majestic and fragrant, that's its code name! It's easily recognised by the extreme straightness of its trunk - which was once used by the Romans to make the masts of their boats - in the Aitone, Valdu Niellu, Vizzavona and Bavella forests between 800 and 1,800 metres, currently estimated at around 50,000 hectares. The oldest are up to 50 metres high and 2 metres in diameter (some are up to 400 years old), Lariciu pine is an emblematic component of our forests.

You can recognise them by their little pine cones. Now you can understand the hatred of some islanders as they watch helplessly the ravages of the summer fires on these age-old trees, which are a testament to their past.

The holm oak

Yet short and stocky in general, the holm oak can sometimes grow up to 20 metres high, at altitudes of around 500 metres. Its fruit is the acorn, which is particularly popular with pig runners. It can be distinguished from other oaks by its finely cracked bark. Its spiny, toothed green leaves resemble those of holly, and its scientific name, Ilux, leaves no doubt about that.

Its wood is particularly popular for heating, among other uses. Unfortunately, it all too often falls victim to fire, the holm oak its development has been slowed down to such an extent that it can be found in bushy form!

The olive tree

Olivier in CorsicaIt is a perennial tree that grows in stony soils on the coast up to an altitude of 600 metres. Its size varies depending on whether it is pruned (3 or 4 metres) or unpruned (10 to 15 metres). It is easily recognised by its small, hard, elongated, grey-green evergreen leaves, while its flowers are arranged in clusters at the base of the leaves. The fruits are the legendary green olives then black matured. L'Olivier blooms in May or June. You should also know that the wood of theOlivier is very popular with traditional woodworkers (because it is very hard and very veined!).

Formerly used by the ancients to cure fever - it is then said to be a febrifuge - (in Corsican fever is called "a freba"), it is also referred to as a "fever reducer".Olivier as the immortal tree! This nickname is due to the fact that even when the trunk is destroyed, a tree can be reborn from its shoots!

You'll find lots ofolive trees at Balagne on sunny hillsides. L'Olivier is still relatively well exploited in Corsica where there is no frost, the harvest can therefore be carried out normally by the natural fall of the oliveswhich perhaps partly explains this unique taste for Corsican olive oil.

Chestnut tree

Corsican chestnutAs legendary in Corsica that the pin Lariciuthe chestnut is an essential component of island culinary life. In fact, it is widely exploited for its fruit. During the time of the Genoese, the production and exploitation of chestnuts became so widespread that a certain region was given the name of. Castagniccia (the Corsican word for chestnut is "a castagna").

Its yellowish-white, slightly pink wood resembles oak, but without the mesh. It is highly prized for its strength and beauty in the construction of frameworks, staircases, parquet flooring and other valuable, not to say luxury, pieces of furniture.

Eucalyptus (Ocalitu)

Corsican EucalyptusEucalyptus. your scent, your perfume intoxicate me to the point of losing my mind. but not my path. you are my guide, brother of the myrtleI'll be guided by the heather and rockrose to my island of a thousand scents. What a joy to see you dancing in the breeze and blooming in the spring". As you can imagine, theEucalyptus is essentially known for its perfume, like everywhere else you might say, yes, but here its smell is increased tenfold by the proximity of the other fragrances of the maquis !

Did you know that it is one of the best anti-viral and antiseptic agents? That's why it's used in saunas to purify the atmosphere. Apart from that, the advice fromU Biancu When the fruit and some of the leaves fall off (especially in very windy conditions), pick them up and put the leaves next to the fire and burn them in the fireplace. It's like being in a sauna!

What can be found under the sea?

Posidonia (a fulasca - erba marina)

Corsica PosidoniaWhen you consider that it was named after the god of the sea Poseidon you can imagine the extent to which this seaweed is prestigious! The posidonia is a green plant which forms vast meadows on the sand where a wide variety of fish nest to hide from intruders or simply to spawn when the time comes. This flowering plant is endemic to the Mediterranean and blooms in autumn.

As well as being beautiful, this plant, which used to live on the continents, is a tremendous asset for the seabed. In a way, it is the equivalent of forests on dry land, providing a huge amount of oxygen for the marine environment. It also helps to fix the sandy seabed, produces plant matter and protects beaches by reducing swell. Large numbers of this flower are a guarantee of the good health of the marine environment in which it grows, which is why their presence in large numbers on certain coastal beaches, even if it's not very aesthetic, is necessary for the proper functioning of an entire complex ecosystem!

Posidonia flowerDespite its enchanting name, this is not the only seaweed to be found in our magical waters. There are also many brown, green and red seaweeds, whether hard or soft, large or small, for you to discover as you dive.

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