Native Plants of Monaco

The Princess Grace Rose Garden in Monaco houses more than 4,000 rose trees of more than 150 varieties. Monaco also has an Exotic Garden with thousands of succulent plants and a Japanese Garden with pine and olive trees, a koi pond and waterfalls. Many roses, palms, aloes, carobs, tamarisks, mimosas, camellias, orange trees and other flowers and plants thrive in Monaco's moderate Mediterranean climate.

Fan Palm

The European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) is native to Europe and North Africa, and the hills of Monaco. It is a slow-growing evergreen that flourishes in the full Mediterranean sun and in soil with good drainage. In the mild year-round climate of Monaco, it can reach a height of 5 to 20 feet. Because of its relaxed growing pattern, the European fan palm is a favorite for containers and large planters. Its vibrant green leaves can attain a width of 3 feet. Although it does not flower, this palm plant produces reddish-brown, round to oval fruit of about 1 inch in diameter.

Fritillarias

Among Monaco's many beautiful wildflowers are fritillarias (Fritillary involucrata). They are large, bell-like flowers whose colors are brilliant jade green checkered with shades of reddish-purple. For this interesting combination of patterns and colors, they are described as harlequin flowers. The stems of fritillarias stand 6 to 12 inches, making them fairly prominent and easy to spot. The genus, Fritillaria, which is part of the lily family, includes more than 80 species.

Lilies

The orange lily (Lilium bulbiferum) is indigenous to Monaco and other parts of Europe. Botanists classify it as a perennial bulb and a member of the Liliaceae family. Its flowers are about 4 inches wide and its alternate leaves are about the same length. The Lilium pomponium, sometimes called the turban lily, features nodding red flowers with black specks and grows to about 3 feet high. An interesting footnote: Dutch lily breeder Klaas de Jong named a fragrant, pale yellow Mediterranean lily "Lys Princess Grace." It is now known as "Monaco."

Sea Mallow

The sea mallow (Lavatera maritima) is a member of the Malvaceae family. This fast-growing evergreen shrub can reach a height of 6 to 8 feet tall and 8 to 12 feet wide. The dainty white, mauve and purple flowers grow in dry, craggy places hundreds of feet above sea level. These flowers bloom throughout the year at hilltop elevations where visitors to Monaco can also enjoy the picturesque view of Monte Carlo below.

Keywords: Monaco's native plants, European fan palm, Malvaceae sea mallow

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Maureen Katemopoulos has been a freelance writer for over 25 years. Her articles on travel, the arts, cuisine and history have appeared in Stanislaus Magazine, Orientations, The Asia Magazine, and The Peninsula Group Magazine, among others. She holds a Baccalaureate degree in journalism from Stanford University.