What Plants Are Native to Italy?

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The citizens of Italy enjoy a temperate climate most of the year, with hot, dry summer weather. The winters can vary in temperature depending on whether you are near the mountains or sea regions. There are hundreds of native plants in Italy that thrive in this type of climate. If you are planning to visit Italy, you will enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the native plants and flowers that dot the countryside and in the botanic gardens. Much of the reason Italy is famous for its delectable cuisine is attributable to the native herbs grown throughout the country.

the basil used in many Italian dishes is a native herb
the basil used in many Italian dishes is a native herb (Image: Nikolay Trubnikov/iStock/Getty Images)

Native Flowers

Gardeners in Italy reserve the space for growing vegetables but are known for using beautiful fragrant flowers in their window boxes, balconies, and landscaped areas. The orange-tree flower, white lily, violets, and roses in shades of white, pink, and yellow are popular flowers to use as gifts in Italy, according to The Flower Expert website. The rolling countryside boasts many colorful and fragrant flowers, such as the Del Papa, oleander, bougainvillea, jasmine, aster, wild orchids, periwinkle, and bluebells.

jasmine grows wild in the Italian countryside
jasmine grows wild in the Italian countryside (Image: Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Native Herbs

Even city dwellers in Italy grow native herbs on their fire escapes, balconies, and windowsills. Using herbs in Italian recipes is considered a must in this culture, which is famous for its spicy, tangy cuisine. Native herbs that are plentiful in farmer’s markets and home gardens include sage, rosemary, mint, thyme, and basil. Curly parsley is mainly used as a garnish, but the flat leaf parsley is often used in fish, soups and salads, and vegetable and pasta dishes.

rosemary is another native herb
rosemary is another native herb (Image: anskuw/iStock/Getty Images)

Native Vegetables

Olives, grapes, broccoli, wheat, parsnips, and carrots all originated from Italy, and this is one of the reasons food is among its main exports, according to the KidCyber website. Different types of lettuce grow well in Italy, and radicchio is native to this country. Garlic, fennel, and arugula are grown in the temperate climates of Italy and help to create salads with many different taste sensations. Italy was also the first country known to grow tomatoes as edible produce, as early as around 1500.

fennel is one of many vegetables native to Italy
fennel is one of many vegetables native to Italy (Image: VeselovaElena/iStock/Getty Images)

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