Crocus Ilvensis, an endemic species that grows on Monte Capanne

The saffron from the Island of Elba can be considered a tiny botanical jewel, found only on the western side of Elba, above all on Monte Capanne, and has been included in the Tuscan Archipelago National Park.

Before the year 2007, even though this plant was already known to the locals, scientists didn't realise it was an autochthonous species . Thanks to research work carried out by two experts from the Biology Department at the University of Pisa, Lorenzo Peruzzi and Angelino Carta, the flower came to be classified as a new endemic species: Crocus Ilvensis, a plant from the saffron family.

The plant probably came to be thanks to the geological evolution of the Island of Elba, characterized from its actual formation (7 million years ago) by partial emersions and submersions that may have enabled the seeds to have been blown about and the plant to have grown only on the island.

Photographs by Silvestre Ferruzzi