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The typical conformation of the Alta Murgia makes almost impossible the presence of surface waters, infact, like a big sponge it soaks up and leads them to the system of groundwater.  In this way, a selective climate in an area unfit to the sprouting of tree species, impose a shrubby type of vegetation.

Now, the north ��” west Murgia has the largest extension of spontaneous vegetation of Italy and is the ever last example of Mediterranean steppe. All around the region dominate the micro sceneries of the lichens, the mosses, and the grass steppe. It’s easy to find out many species, of several genres and families, which during the alternation of seasons, follow one another in an explosion of colours. Among them there are the “stipe”(Stipa tortilis, Stipa austro italica, e Stipa pennata) or feather grass, which cover the more sterile and stony lands, and large sweeps of asphodels; in spring plenty of wild orchids (Ophryis mateolana) grow in the pastures; only in some portions of the fields there are trees and in particular the “perazzo” (Pyrus amygdaliformis).

Especially along the northern border, towards the Adriatic Sea, the woods appear as rare presences. They are relicts of ancient oaks; even if it could be strange to find them in a so bare landscape, they are the evidence of the past woodiness for which Apulia was called “the region of the oaks”. The “roverella” (Quercus pubescens) or pubscens oak dominates together with the “leccio” (Quercus ilex) or holly oak; furthermore, because of reforestation, there are some conifers like “pino d’aleppo” (Pinus halepensis) and the “pino domestico” (Pinus pinea). A high importance is given to mushrooms; the most precious and hardly retraceable in others areas of Italy is the “cardoncello” (Pleurotus eryngii), a buttonhole of the Murgia’s cuisine.
(All the info on this page were taken from “Guida al Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia, natura e storia del primo parco rurale d’Italia”, Edizioni Torre di Nebbia)More information:  I Colori della Murgia

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