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The forest of the south side

The southern slope of Mount San Michele, which is gentler, sloping and sunnier than the northern slope, is highly anthropised, revealing its recent formation and its previous use for agricultural purposes, as shown by the terraces bordered by walls. There are many weeds such as black locust and ailanthus that form an intricate spontaneous forest. There are also some garden plants that have spread spontaneously, such as the viburnum and dwarf palm.

ROBINIA(1) Robinia pseudo-acacia Famiglia Leguminosae

The locust tree is named after Jean Robin, botanist and pharmacist to the King of France, who obtained its seeds from North America in 1601. In Italy it was introduced in 1750. It grows spontaneously in all soils and spreads quickly, so it is considered a weed that endures air pollution and has no competitive plants. Its wood is used as fuel; the seeds were ground together with flour during the war. The flowers, white and fragrant, attract bees, which produce an excellent clear acacia honey. The flowers can also be used to make excellent pancakes.

STEM: thick brown bark, with deep cracks. LEAVES: deciduous, alternate, composed of 19 soft, ellipse-shaped, light green leaves. FLOWERS: white, gathered in fragrant clusters, 10-20 cm long. FRUITS: pod-shaped, first green then brown; They hang from the branches in groups until late winter.

HACKBERRY(2) Celtis australis Famiglia Ulmaceae

The hackberry tree is a plant of Mediterranean areas, a long-lived, spontaneous species that tolerates pollution well. The wood, which is flexible and durable, was once used for whip handles and carriage shafts.
FUSTO: tronco diritto, chioma arrotondata, corteccia liscia e grigiastra.
FOGLIE: semplici, alterne, caduche, picciolate, lanceolate, appuntite, a margine seghettato, lunghe 6-8 cm.
FIORI: ermafroditi, piccoli, verdastri, peduncolati.
FRUTTI: peduncolati, a forma di pisello, polpa molle e dolciastra di colore bruno, con nocciolo.

AILANTHUS (3) Ailanthus altissima Famiglia Simaroubaceae

Introduced to Italy from China in 1760, it is resistant to pollution and drought, spreads rapidly because it produces many suckers that sprout at a distance from the tree and is therefore weedy and difficult to eradicate. The white wood gives off an unpleasant smell when it burns.
FUSTO: corteccia liscia da grigio-bruna a nera con striature bianche.
LEAVES: composed, from 5 to 22 pairs of oval and pointed leaflets with 1-3 large teeth on each side; color intense red as soon as they hatch, then dark green on the upper page and lighter on the lower one.
FIORI: piccoli, verdastri, in grosse pannocchie terminali.
FRUITS: samare gathered in pendulous boulders, with a seed in the center of a twisted wing; are initially colored green-yellow and red-orange when ripening.
Interesting facts about the name 'Ailanthus' 
Ailanthus means 'tree of Paradise', or 'tree of the gods' in the language of an island in the Moluccas (Indonesia). It is also called 'sun tree' or 'touching tree', in dialect 'spuson', because of the foul smell its leaves give off

The CTG El Preon APS Group has decided to dedicate this route among nature, history and tradition to the memory of one of the group's founding members, Romano Giacomelli, a tireless supporter of Cavaionese culture and education, who passed away in 2022.