Štanjel – Komen Botanical Trail
The longer circular trail takes you from Štanjel to Komen and back. Along the way, you will see several ecosystems typical of the Karst – natural ones, such as the karst gmajna (“common pastures”) grasslands, dry grasslands, the European hop-hornbeam and manna ash grove and numerous hedges. You will also encounter some non-indigenous, species-poor black pine stands and extensive vineyards. As befits a classic karst area, karst surface phenomena will keep you company along the way – mainly sinkholes, with limestone pavements in some places. You will also come across plant species typical of karst areas, such as the winter savory and Illyrian savory, downy oak, Cornelian cherry, Istrian hellebore, and many others.
Section 1: Thermophilic forest edge, black pine stand
Black pine stands on karst have developed in areas that were forested with black pine after the clearing of original forests for pastures. The black pine is the only species that has managed to survive cold winters, summer heat, and completely dry soil. Black pine stands slow down the winds, particularly the bora. Forest fires pose a great threat to these forests.
Section 2: Karst gmajna grassland
The karst gmajna (“common pastures”) grassland represents the traditional notion of the Karst as a dry, bare landscape. Due to abandonment, these areas are rapidly becoming overgrown.
Section 3: Debela Griža
Debela Griža is the largest hillfort in the Komen municipality. Here you will find some typical plant species that grow on rocks, such as the rustyback and Illyrian savory.
Section 4: Vineyards
In this section, you will see beautiful examples of vast vineyards. In these vineyards, wine is produced in a sustainable way, without the use of machinery.
Section 5: Pastures
In this section, you will see extensive pastures that are gradually disappearing as such due to the abandonment of use and crop production on karst pastures. As extensive meadows, they have high social and ecological value.