The sides of the volcano are unexpectedly, at least for the collective imagination, rich in vegetation. Many of the plants present on Etna’s soil are the result of a thousand-year adaptation to the volcanic environment. There are some endemic plants, that is, which have unique characteristics and can only be found in a specific place.
Among the most representative and common plants to be observed on the Etna volcano we find, at different altitudinal bands and according to the time elapsed between the eruptions and the repopulation of the flora, starting from the bottom: mosses and lichens such as the Stereocaulum Vesuvianum which takes root on the roughness of the nude lava rocks after a few years; the romice and chamomile of Etna small pioneer plants that color the ski and volcanic sands in spring; Ginestra dell’Etna is a normally shrubby plant which instead becomes arboreal and dominates the lava flows after about a century; the birch of Etna, which populates in spots only some slopes of the volcano at high altitudes and many others. The volcano in the summer is essentially an explosion of colors.
HIKING NOTES: During our excursions on Etna it will be possible to see different species of the endemic flora.