The contribution of Mediterranean native shrub species to greenspaces


Abstract: To obtain sustainable ornamental greenspaces, the choice of the species is increasingly addressing to native plants. This choice can represent a valid solution, thanks to remarkable adaptability of native plants to biotic and abiotic stresses. The Mediterranean basin is one of the major world centres for plant diversity, with around 25,000 species. Shrubs are a very common type of plant in the Mediterranean and constitute the typical vegetation of this ecosystem, the so-called in Italian “macchia”. Moreover, thanks to their anatomical, morphological, physiological, and biochemical characteristics, these plants are able to tolerate abiotic stress and in particular drought. In this context, we analysed the contribution of native shrubs to realization of greenspaces. The results acquired showed the high number of Mediterranean chorotype shrub species potentially used for ornamental purposes. A total of 148 species were surveyed belonging to 40 botanical families. Relevant is the incidence of Asteraceae with 25 species (16.9 % of the total), followed by Fabaceae (17 species, 11.5 %), Lamiaceae (15 species, 10.1 %), Rosaceae (14 species, 9.5%) and Cistaceae (10 species, 6.8 %). Specific sheets with useful information were collected for 118 species, belonging to 38 botanical families, including the possible use of the species for ornamental purposes, were realized.

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