The flora of Mount baldo, "Hortus Europae"
Mount Baldo is famous for its rich flora: nearly 2000 wild or introduced plant species have been documented. There is also a large number of endemic species (plants that are found only in a given region or location): on Mount Baldo 70 different species have been found within an area that is entirely restricted to the Alps.
One reason for the peculiarity of the flora of Mount Baldo is that in the last ice age Mount Baldo was like an island surrounded by the Garda and River Adige Valley glaciers, which allowed for the survival of many pre-glacial species and the evolution of new species through geographical isolation. In the post-glacial phase there occurred a migration of numerous thermophilic species that was favored by the mild climate and proximity of Lake Garda.
The great abundance of different plant species is also due to the presence of the entire range of vegetation zones in a relatively small area: from the thermophilic sub-Mediterranean zone of the lowest areas up to the alpine zone of the summits. Also important is the central position of Mount Baldo along the long stretch of Alpine foothills: between the Prealps of Bergamo and Brescia to the west and the Alpine foothills of the Mounts of Lessinia and of Feltre to the east.
Because of it s floristic richness Mount Baldo has been a particular topic of interest among many great botanists for many centuries, which has resulted in a number of scholarly publications such as Voyage to Monte Baldo by F. Calzolari (1566) and Illustrated Flora of the Monte Baldo by Prosser, Bertolli and Festi (2009).