The Astragalus maritimus Moris is a tall herbaceous plant belonging to the Leguminosae family.  It lives exclusively on the island of San Pietro which is why we have chosen it as the symbol for our logo.  The plant was discovered for the first time on the island by the scholar Giuseppe Giacinto Moris in 1827. This rare and unique endemic species was originally described incorrectly by Moris because the sample plants were collected in January when they were not flowering.  Only in 1970 was the plant found again by two botanists from the University of Cagliari, as part of a floristic study on the island of San Pietro, in the same location indicated nearly 150 years earlier by the botanical professor of Turin. 

Since then there have been numerous studies and attempts to classify the Astragalus maritimus Moris with other plants, but almost all botanists agree that this plant is a separate species that lives in a restricted habitat (less than two hectares) where it seems it cannot expand. The presence of this particular species is still a subject of research and recent studies are trying to discover its origin. The prevailing hypothesis supports the presence of this species on the island from a very distant geological time, which would classify it as a paleoendemic species since it is impossible to place it among the modern species.

Astrgalus maritimus Moris is a perennial plant between 20 and 30 cm in height, with stems 10-15 cm long. The composite leaves are smooth on the upper surface and hairy underneath, and have an elliptical shape; on average each stem has about twenty leaves.  According to the “Red List” of plants and animal species in danger of extinction, this plant is Critically Endangered due to the urbanization of the coastal areas by tourism and recreation, and changes in native species dynamics.  These rare plants should not be disturbed or picked under any circumstances.


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