Apulia is a region in the south of Italy. It's the at the end of the Italian peninsula on the eastern side, facing Albania and Greece. From its position, it's a kind of bridge toward the Balkans, and several species of plants are common between the two coasts. Apulia favours the typical Mediterranean climate, but being the longest region of Italy with 784 Km of coasts, several microclimates are found and they range from zones 8 to 10. All of the following photos were taken in habitat by Angelo Porcelli unless stated otherwise.

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Allium atroviolaceum is a tall species with a 4" (10cm+) nice drumstick head. It grows in Eastern Mediterranean and has its western limit in Apulia, being the only occurrence in Italy. At time of flowering, the leaves have already disappeared. Listed as vulnerable in the Regional Red List.

Allium atroviolaceum, Angelo Porcelli

Allium chamaemoly - This winter flowering species is found in numerous Mediterranean areas including North Africa. Photo taken in a sunny mid-January.

Allium chamaemoly, Angelo Porcelli

Allium commutatum - A very late flowering Allium for a Mediterranean species, in bloom from July later. This curious species grows on rocky slopes just in front of sea and at time of flowering is totally leafless. Bulbs are salt resistant and floaters, and they are dispersed during sea storms. Plants are found also growing deeply embedded in the pebbles of the beaches, fallen down from the above slopes.

Allium commutatum, Angelo PorcelliAllium commutatum, Angelo Porcelli

Allium neapolitanum A very common species in south of Italy and a true weed in my yard.

Allium neapolitanum, Angelo Porcelli

Allium roseum is a rather uncommon Mediterranean species with pink flowers.

Allium roseum, Angelo Porcelli

Allium subhirsutum is a Mediterranean species. It has finely ciliate (hairy) leaves, from which it gets its specific name.

Allium subhirsutum, Angelo Porcelli


Arisarum vulgare is a common sight all over the Mediterranean and makes lovely carpets of leaves. It grows in shade or sun, from sea level to inland, and the funny miniature cobra-lily flowers appear continuously from October through April.

Arisarum vulgare, Angelo Porcelli


Arum apulum is an endemic species of central Apulia, related to Arum nigrum from the Balkans. It occurs in sparse woodland areas, being a shade loving plant. It follows the classic pattern of many Mediterranean geophytes, with summer dormancy. Leaves appears in October and flowering is in April. Listed as critically endangered (CR according with the IUCN Red List Categories) in the Italian Red Book of Plants.

Arum apulum, Angelo PorcelliArum apulum, Angelo Porcelli

Arum italicum is a very variable species. It can be dark, plain green or with whitish-cream markings. Some plants are particularly variegated and often referred as 'marmoratum' or 'pictum,' but both names are invalid.

Arum italicum, Angelo Porcelli


Biarum tenuifolium is a small plant, virtually impossible to see. Its leaves are pretty similar to many common weeds and the flower is mimetic, being the same colour of surrounding soil. Only its 'unique' scent reveals its presence!

Biarum tenuifolium, Angelo PorcelliBiarum tenuifolium, Angelo Porcelli


Colchicum cupanii is one of the smaller species, bearing 2-6 flowers and a couple of small leaves at the same time.

Colchicum cupanii, Angelo PorcelliColchicum cupanii, a rare white form, Angelo PorcelliColchicum cupanii, an intermediate form, Angelo Porcelli


Crocus thomasii is endemic to Apulia and part of Dalmatia (ex Jugoslavia). It is an autumn-flowering species, awakening with the first rains, but always later than Sternbergia lutea and Colchicum cupanii. Flowers have a delicious honey scent and stigmas yield a good saffron substitute.

Crocus thomasii, Angelo PorcelliCrocus thomasii, Angelo Porcelli


Cyclamen hederifolium The beloved 'wild cyclamen' is always nice to meet during excursions.

Cyclamen hederifolium, Angelo Porcelli

Cyclamen hederifolium var. poli is a rarely seen form or variety of this very variable species. Its main feature is the sagittate leaves, but it is reported to have scented flowers too. First records of this curious variant were made as early as 1700 by Tenore and other Italian botanists. Funny, at that age someone speculated it was a hybrid with Arum italicum !

Cyclamen hederifolium var. poli, Angelo PorcelliCyclamen hederifolium var. poli, Angelo Porcelli


Iris bicapitata is a medium bearded species endemic to the Gargano peninsula in northern Apulia, related to Iris lutescens but this species occurs on the other side of Italian peninsula and the two species have been misunderstood for a while. It bears two flowers atop of the 30-40 cm stalk, which open in succession. On rare occasions even three flowers are born, but this occurs on my cultivated plants, which are regularly feeded and watered. It is present in the violet and yellow forms, but even white and occasionally specimens with white standards and violet falls have been observed. Photos of cultivated specimens, from original wild collected samples.

Iris bicapitata, Angelo PorcelliIris bicapitata, Angelo PorcelliIris bicapitata, typical double-headed seed pods, Angelo Porcelli

Iris pseudopumila is a dwarf bearded species, endemic to Apulia and Sicily. It is thought to be the ancestral form of all the bearded Iris. It grows in shallow stony soils and flowers from January to March.

Iris pseudopumila, Angelo Porcelli

Iris sintenisii is from Southern Italy, the Balkan peninsula and Turkey. It has deep violet-blue flowers with white falls and violet veins. The plant is practically impossible to spot in the grass when not in flower since the leaves are totally grass-like.

Iris sintenisii, Angelo PorcelliIris sintenisii, Angelo PorcelliIris sintenisii, Angelo Porcelli

Iris tuberosa still often referred to by the old name of Hermodactylus tuberosus is a rather curious element of Mediterranean flora.

Iris tuberosa, Angelo PorcelliIris tuberosa, Angelo Porcelli


Narcissus serotinus is a diminutive species flowering at the end of September. Usually carries 1 flower but sometimes 2, or even 3.

Narcissus serotinus, Angelo PorcelliNarcissus serotinus, Angelo PorcelliNarcissus serotinus, Angelo Porcelli


Ornithogalum montanum is a smallish species from arid and stony pastures. It differs from O. umbellatum in lacking the silver median stripe on the leaves, which are broad and flat on the ground. This is a non-suckering species and not invasive, even if photo shows a clump of several plants grown together in the same pocket of soil.

Ornithogalum montanum, Angelo Porcelli

Ornithogalum umbellatum is a charming species spread all over the Mediterranean basin. It can be invasive in fertile garden soils.

Ornithogalum umbellatum, Angelo PorcelliOrnithogalum umbellatum, Angelo Porcelli


Romulea bulbocodium This is the form of this rather variable species found in central Apulia. It is common on the sea belt and can flower as early as mid January if winter is mild.

Romulea bulbocodium, Angelo Porcelli


Scilla hyacinthoides is a Mediterranean species, originally from Middle East but naturalized here and there in South of Italy. It needs a poor stony soil to flower well, otherwise it will develope an abnormal number of offsets missing the flowering. It has been proposed to be moved into a new genus Nectaroscilla with it as the sole species, Nectaroscilla hyacinthoides.

Scilla hyacinthoides, Angelo Porcelli


Sternbergia lutea occurs usually in stony soils, in open areas. It is still rather common in rural areas, along country roads.

Sternbergia lutea, Angelo PorcelliSternbergia lutea, Angelo PorcelliSternbergia lutea, Angelo Porcelli

Occasionally, multipetal forms can occur, as in Zephyranthes.

Sternbergia lutea, multipetal form, Angelo Porcelli

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