The area of the Premantura Peninsula is a true botanical treasure trove of the region.

Botanical Treasure Trove of the Region

The area of the Premantura Peninsula is a true botanical treasure trove of the region. More than 600 recorded species make this area an exceptional source of biodiversity in the already significantly biodiverse regions of the Mediterranean and Adriatic. Of course, most valuable are the grasslands, which are home to many interesting species, primarily orchids, which number about 30 species in the area of Kamenjak, locally called Punta. Two orchid species are endemic to southern Istria, and their names are suggestive of their origin. Of course, these are Serapias istriaca and Serapias x pulae. The latter, however, is a hybrid of Serapias istriaca and the tongue orchid (Serapias lingua).

The Habitat of Critically Endangered Species

The habitats of woolly chamomile (Anthemis tomentosa), for which Kamenjak is the only known site in Croatia, are extremely valuable. Kamenjak is also the only site in Croatia for narrow-leaved bindweed (Convolvulus lineatus) and yellow centaury (Cicendia filiformis). Particularly interesting is a species of fern called the least adder's-tongue (Ophioglossum lusitanicum). After it was first recorded in Croatia in the mid-19th century, this plant had not appeared in records for more than a hundred years. It was only in 1974 that it was recorded again around Pomer Bay, and in 1994 it was included in the Red Book of Croatian Flora as a critically endangered species.

From Rocky Ground to Tall Pine Trees

From rocky ground and grasslands, through shrub-like vegetation, all the way to maquis and forests, the Kamenjak area consists of a complex mosaic of habitats. 

The shrub-like vegetation includes habitats such as garrigue containing rock rose (Cistus sp.), and evergreen shrubs: the common juniper and the prickly juniper (Juniperus sp.). Likewise, the widespread maquis of holm oak (Quercus ilex) occasionally even turns into a real Mediterranean forest, although still concealed beneath tall Aleppo pines (Pinus halepensis).

Aromatic, Edible and Medicinal Herbs

The areas of Kamenjak and Soline Forest Park are rich in aromatic, edible and medicinal herbs. While more arid areas and rocky ground host many species of rock rose (Cistus sp.), sage (Salvia officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and immortelle (Helichrysum italicum), the areas covered with garrigue and maquis also include the common myrtle (Myrtus communis), the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus) and the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo). At some previously built or cultivated sites, we find bay laurel (Laurus nobilis), rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus), oregano (Origanum vulgare) and other cultivated plants. All areas are also rich in wild asparagus (Asparagus acutifolius), one of Istria’s most popular spring delicacies.