Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Succulents (fat plants) on the Adriatic coast and their use in parks.

Abstract

Succulent plants are gradually colonizing the Croatian coast. These plants initially the collector's items, but when their ability to tolerate low temperatures was discovered, they began to be grown in the open. Since this species was often mentioned by Croatian Renaissance writers, it can be said with certainty that Opuntia sp. occurred in the Mediterranean and the Adriatic region as early as the 16th century, shortly after the discovery of America. Many of the Opuntia sp. and Agave americana plants developed spontaneously by adapting to the new ecological conditions. In fact, the American agave virtually became a symbol of some parts of the Croatian coast. Certain cacti species, such as C. Peruvians "Monstruosus", which may reach over 4 metres in height, manifest high resistance to cold and are frequently found along the Croatian coast. Due to global warming, some plants, such as Aptenia cordifolia, a species unheard of in these parts only some ten years ago, have acclimatized to the conditions and spread across the coastal area. Apart from these exotic succulents, the Croatian coast is also home to some European fat plants, such as Sedum sp. - stonecrop, and Sempervivum sp. - houseleek. Succulents are plants that thrive in stony areas. Still, we should be cautious not to overplant them, since they impart an exotic appearance.