In the Maquis

Discover Corsica

Corsica has a really rich vegetation, from Meditteranean to High Alpine. At lower levels you find Macchia or Maquis - a heady scrubland mix of endemic plants specific to the island. Corsica has an important biodiversity and a number of endemic species on this small island territory.

The maquis is dense and cloaks the slopes, bandits were known to hide in the vegetation from their enemies. Here are some examples of what you can find in the Maquis. 

The ARBOUSIER - ARBUTUS/STRAWBERRY TREE is a bushy tree which blooms in late autumn with the appearance of small white bell shape flowers. Soon after, these turn into ARBOUSES, small edible red-orange balls that can be used in jelly and jams.

MYRTE – MYRTLE is a heady scented small shrub very present in      the  Maquis. In winter it produces small blue-black berries, the leaves are oily. Myrtle is used in Corsican gastronomy, the foliage flavours grilled meats and berries are used to make a liqueur.

IMMORTELLE D’ITALIE or CURRY PLANT is a low shrub, with silver leaves topped with clusters of yellow flowers in early summer. It has a strong spicy perfume from the leaves. The plant has many medicinal properties and is used in aromatherapy and is a good insect deterrent.

ASPHODELLES - U TARAVELLU cover Corsica in spring. Growing on barren, sandy and rocky soil, they brighten up the landscape with their little pinkish star-shaped flowers sprouting from their stiff branches, like gawky candelabra.

OLIVE TREES have grown in CORSICA since antiquity. Seen as mystic trees throughout the Mediterranean, in Corsica OLIVE OIL is also used against L'OCCHIU, the evil eye.

CHATAIGNIERS - CHESTNUT TREES blossom in May and June and CHESTNUTS are harvested to produce flour, dried and ground they are used in local cuisine.

LARICIO PINES are coniferous evergreen trees that can grow up to 50m high with a straight trunk with grey flakey bark, and long dark needles.