Thanks to the characteristics
of flora and fauna Marettimo is the most interesting island of
the archipelago of the Egadi.
Its particularity is due to different factors: above all the
presence of mountains in the island, where the calcareous rocks
added up to the dolomitic rocks, and the abundance of water;
then the insularity process which took place in Marettimo first,
and later in the other islands. The isolation of flora and fauna,
dating back to 600 millions years ago, has in fact allowed the
preservation of vegetable specimens disappeared by now from Sicily
and the other islands of the archipelago of the Egadi.
The natural history of Marettimo began about 50 millions years
ago, in the Tertiary Era, characterized by the Alpine orogenic
folding, the numerous phenomena which produced the raising of
the mountain chains. The continental drift pushed Africa against
Europe and gave rise, according to the scholars, to a continent
extending from Sicily to Asia Minor, of which Marettimo was part:
the confirmation of this hypothesis is the presence of the endemic
plant Scabiosa Limonifolia, coming from those lands.
Other variety of plants present in Marettimo and not in Sicily,
such as the Daphne Oleifolia and the Erodium Maritimum,
witness other geological transformations happened about 20 millions
Isolated from the beginning of the Quaternary, Marettimo became
the "caretaker" of a vegetation which has no longer
received any evolutionary push from the outside. That's why it
has kept unchanged by now for tens million years.