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Protected Plants in Croatia

Devika enjoys sharing her work with a friendly community. Writing opens the mind. I live in a foreign country learned a foreign language .

Protected plants in Croatia

Croatia Weaver's Broom

Croatia is a beautiful small country. Since living in Croatia I discovered unique herbal plants and many different wild flowers. I find this flower most interesting and a unique shrub.

It is called the Weavers Broom. The summer is filled with the strong scent of these yellow flowers. Often I have allergies at the beginning of May caused by this flower. A shrub grown in the wild and shows off its color from a distance.

The pea-like yellow flowers are beautiful and admired through its natural beauty in the hills of the southern part of Croatia. The pods of this plant is filled with seeds and dries at the end of the summer.

Grows wildly as weeds and controls the growth of the other plants. Native to the Mediterranean region and isn't everybody’s favorite plant. Known as a terrible weed, it is often destroyed to allow growth for other plants.

The other findings of this plant are its unique features. Grown in a shrub and has green strong stems. These stems are not easily destroyed in the ground. They are tough and a nuisance to local people. If this plant grows around any home it is destroyed, but if grown up in the mountain areas it is not an issue to anyone.

Žuka as it is commonly known as in the Croatian language is used as a hedge in some areas. A Mediterranean weed and it is called weaver’s broom or Spanish Broom in Spain for having green lengthy stems and a tough shrub to that doesn't easily break or crumble.

The weaver’s broom has been in existence for thousands of years. It has been used to dye wool, and used commercially for that purpose. Known as the dyer's greenweed, and a common weed plant grown in most parts of Croatia.

In the past the yellow flowers were pickled and eaten raw. In recent years the yellow flowers are no longer edible for the toxic effects it has on the heart.

What do you know about Žuka?

I discovered Žuka in Croatia 18 years ago. I saw it every season and had no idea what its purpose was. The local people informed me and I decided to research this plant on my own. With the help of the village people and research I found out more than I had expected. A weed growing in the wild every summer and admired for the beautiful flowers by tourists gave me the opportunity to spread the word here.

An impressive plant grows in shrubs, and in bushes. You will find that it can grow up to two meters in height. Found in southern Europe and other parts of Croatia. It grows in dry sandy soil.

Yellow soft petals are delicate and burst open when touched. The seeds are spread from the parent plant and have pollen on it that sticks to your fingers.

Žuka is a Dalmatian wild plant used in the past to make shoes, sleeping blankets. In some regions in Croatia the Žuka was used as a broom, and the fibers combined with flax to make clothes for the local people. The fibers are strong and were used for tying together the orchids of vineyards. Vine branches grow taller and these fibers were used to tie together the longer branches.

The fibers were used to weave blankets and baskets, strainers for olives, or to make a basket for drying figs. The easy to use fibers were used to light a fire. The brooms made from the stems of the Žuka were used to clean the streets in Dubrovnik.

There are different wild plants growing in this region and most of these wild plants in the past have been used for a purpose. A fascinating country consists of a lot of species of beautiful nature. Thousands of wild plants have still yet to be recorded.

The outstanding natural resources of Croatia have a lot to show off about than most of the larger European countries that I know of.

The mountainous region of Velebit has survived with snow and ice for ages. It is in those regions that flora has increased so well.

The diversity of flora grows along the Dalmatian coast. In the valleys and hills you will see flora and in ranging mountains.

Indigenous plants have succeeded in these climates. Up in the Velebit mountain and in Biokovo mountains, including Kvarner which is at the mouth of the Krka river ranges of flora. Habitats that are most noticeable in such places have survived drastic climates.

The beautiful plains of Slavonia in Croatia, and the rivers and lakes, also hills, have peace and energy that will fill you with its greatness from the mountains and of the air. Forests, and vineyards are spread out and give you a better peace of mind.

Flora in Lika and Gorski Kotar are in various types of low vegetation. The famous endemic plants are found there. Karst edelweiss and the Degenia velebitica are among the 2700 and more unique plants in this region.

The little experiences such as this leave you with an everlasting impression of this country's flora. If it is not fishing out at sea, it is the wild plants that you would find in rocky mountains.

The coast has the perfect sight of pine tree forests. You can’t miss that beauty. Plant species that are rare and found in these parts of Croatia are different to most parts of the world.

Shrubs of all types and every experience is a precious one for me, also in finding out more about what grows in the highlands of Croatia. People search for a variety of plants and find what they least expect in the wild. The Lokrum island in Dubrovnik has a variety of species of protected plants.

Many species grow on this island to preserve its life. Velebit and Biokava, and Island of Lokrum has the most peculiar of plants. These are not allowed to be poked at, picked at, or dug up, and cut in any form from these areas. It is not allowed to be destroyed from its original state.

The Degenia velebitica is of the mustard group of plants and is on the fifty lipa Croatian coin. There are several endemic species that appear on the mountains and have and had a history of uses in the past.

On mountain Velebit there are deciduous shrubs from a rose species. It is an interesting fact about these shrubs. Grown in rocky soil and known for its memorials of the ice.

Situated in Northern Croatia, there are several climates that affect the area. Glaciation is the reason for shrubs to grow on mountain tops. Most of the earth was covered in ice, especially on the Velebit mountain.

Regarding this period the plants in cold areas were lost in growth. This caused the plants to grow southwards. When the ice melted, shrubs of this species began to grow on mountain tops.

Deciduous shrubs are able to survive this climate. Plants are isolated up in the mountain. These plants evolved on their own. Endemism is what makes Velebit Mountain famous for hiking and unique for its flora.

The special position allows for such plants to flourish in such climates. A national park for all and most of all you can find the protected species of flora. A hiking area among the rocky mountains and a view of protected plants.

Northern part of Croatia has protected plants. In the Southern part where I live it is unspoiled and shares a natural beauty of the valleys. Plants are plentiful and up in the mountains is where you will find the wild plants and are used for a purpose.

Velebit mountain

Mountain Velebit in the northern part of Croatia

Mountain Velebit in the northern part of Croatia

Žuka grows in Velebit region

Žuka grows in Velebit region

Žuka grown in hedges

Žuka grown in hedges

Žuka grown in bushes

Žuka grown in bushes

Žuka growing near my home

Žuka growing near my home

Žuka growing on hills

Žuka growing on hills

Protected species of flora in Croatia

Velebit national park

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Devika Primić

Comments

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 15, 2021:

Hello Mary hope all is well with you. So kind of you to stop by thank you very much

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on June 14, 2021:

I haven't seen Zuka before and it looks really beautiful.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 11, 2021:

Denise thank you for comments

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on June 10, 2021:

I've never heard of these plants before but really enjoy seeing them. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings,

Denise

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Hi Dora Thank you for that note about the labels. I appreciate your time.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on June 10, 2021:

You shared some interesting facts about these flowers. Thanks for sharing the pictures. We missed the labels under them.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Bill Thank you for a comment. You have become one of my good supporters, so appreciate that.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Peggy Thank you kindly for comments. I do live in a beautiful country. A tourist based country but worth having a good life. I appreciate your comments and constant support.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Chitrangada Sharan

I enjoy my daily walks and often see the different wild plants. This is different and used for a broom sounds unique. Thank you very much.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Pamela Oglesby I wish you would some day visit this side of the world. Žuka is a wild plant. I am pleased you found my hub interesting. Thank you for a generous comment. You too, take care.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Rawan Osama Thank you and glad you find this hub useful.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Misbah Sheikh Thank you for comments. I had to write about my experiences in Croatia. The beautiful wild flowers bloom at the start of every season This makes me like what I do for myself. A relaxed lifestyle.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

MG Singh thank you for supporting me. I appreciate your time. I enjoy new discoveries of plants that grow in the mountain region.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Rozlin Thank you very much for comments I am glad you learned lots from my hub.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Rozlin Thank you kindly for sharing your feedback.

Devika Primić (author) from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 10, 2021:

Hi John Hansen, Plants in Croatia are preserved on islands as well as mountains. I m pleased you showed an interest here. I have learned lots about the wild plants. I admire the lovely flowers I notice on my daily walks. Thank you very much for sharing your views. Always appreciated!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 10, 2021:

Very interesting article. It is nice to know that Croatia protects some plants, and I loved the photos.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 10, 2021:

Thanks for informing us about the Zuka plant. It surely is beautiful when in bloom! You do live in a gorgeous country!

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 10, 2021:

Another interesting article about Croatia, and I always enjoy knowing about this beautiful place, through your informative articles.

This wild plant Zuka has lovely flowers, and you have shared some interesting facts about it.

Thank you for sharing.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 10, 2021:

Your article has interesting information that is new to me, Devika. I didn't know about Zuka. Your pictures are beautiful also. You live in a beautiful country. I wish I could visit. Thank you for sharing all of this information. Take care.

Rawan Osama from Egypt on June 10, 2021:

Its very useful , thanks for sharing it

Misbah Sheikh from The World of Poets on June 10, 2021:

Devika, It's an interesting hub about Zuka. I have seen it in Spain and in many other European countries but I never tried to research this plant. Thanks for sharing your knowledge about this amazing plant.

Stay well and safe

Blessings and Love

MG Singh from UAE on June 10, 2021:

Very nice article. Thanks for some interesting information.

Rozlin from UAE on June 10, 2021:

I learned a lot about zuka and other plants from your hub.

Blessings

Rozlin from UAE on June 10, 2021:

This is a very informative hub, Devika. Thank you for sharing.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on June 10, 2021:

Devika, thank you for sharing all about Zuka and some other plants found in Croatia. The photos were nice and you provided a lot of information.

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