Lava expanses with sparse vegetation

The eruptive events that have followed one another over time have repeatedly erased the vegetation present on the volcanic complex Somma-Vesuvio. But, each time, life has overwhelmingly regained possession of the territories invaded by the lava, thanks to the settlement of some pioneer species, or species able to colonize even the most hostile environments, such as a lava soil after cooling, settling first and creating the conditions for a subsequent development of diversified plant formations.

On the lava flows of the most recent Vesuvian eruptions (1944, 1929, 1906) it is still possible to admire the widespread colonization of the main pioneer species of Vesuvius, the coralliform lichen Stereocaulon vesuvianum, with its silvery grey colour and filamentous appearance, flanked by other pioneer species that represent a more evolved stage of plant succession: the Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber), the Helichrysum (Helichrysum litoreum), the Red Romice (Rumex scutatus) and a rich variety of grasses, asteraceae and legumes; these associations prepare the ground for the subsequent establishment of the typical brooms, consisting of fragrant broom (Spartium junceum), broom charcoal burners (Cytisus scoparius), and other shrubby formations.