Orto Botanico ed Erbario – Università di Bologna

6 Submerged forest

It is possible to get to the pond area passing through a grove representing a typical alluvial plain wood, with plants growing in moist sites and tolerant to occasional floods. Amongst the trees here cultivated, deserves a special attention the white poplar (Populus alba L.): a thermophil plant growing in flu sun with a typical greenish-white to grayish-white bark and leaves underside densely covered by white fuzz. there are also some young ashes (Fraxinus) and some maples (Acer): Acer campestre L. (native) ed Acer negundo L. (not native, generally introduced along streets in cities and now growing as native). Another typical species of moist sites is the white willow (Salix alba L.): cultivated in water meadows and to stabilize banks and slopes subject to landslides. Amongst the shrubs you can observe the purple willow (Salix purpurea L.), so called for the color of shoots, that grows by watersides (river banks) with the olive willow (Salix eleagnos L.). Other shrubs are hazels,  common dogwoods, privets, black elders, fly honeysuckles and Italian honeysuckles. The understory species are very interesting: the dominant species are sedges (Carex pendula Huds.) and horsetails growing on a continuous carpet of ivy (Hedera helix L.). Besides there are two species of  protected periwinkle, trailing subshrubs spreading along the ground and rooting along the stems, not typical of this habitat, but growing in temperate hillside woods.

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