21 September 2020
Thanks to a bit of persistency and a bit of flexibility – common in people used to field survey and the unexpected change of plans it may cause - we managed to visit Palmarola last July. And surprise: promises were kept! Hottentot fig Carpobrotus is still present on the beach of San Silverio, but some private owners removed a significant amount of this plant from their own properties, after being informed that this is not a native species and that its spread from South Africa to most of the world is a major threat to coastal plant diversity. The invaded areas along the coasts in California, France, Portugal, or Australia appear all the same and diversity, the most beautiful feature of our Earth, is being lost. Thanks for your collaboration in removing Carpobrotus! Many beautiful native species are already present in Palmarola and can be used for gardens and terraces: yellow hornpoppy Glaucium flavum, sea daffodil Pancratium maritimum or sea fennel Crithmum maritimum.
In the three days in the field, we walked on the footsteps of Bruno Anzalone, who investigated the islands more than 40 years ago, both in Palmarola and Ponza. In Palmarola we found a beautiful population of Limonium pontium, whereas in Ponza we realised that invasive plant species on this island could be halt with a few control actions and greater public awareness.
All these findings, together with the aromatic scent of fragrant virgin's bower Clematis flammula all over the island of Ponza, the wonderful panoramas, and the crystal clear waters, made us feel peaceful and confident throughout the summer break... yet we cannot wait to start working again on the islands!