The botanical trail of Saint-Jean-de-Cuculles

The beautiful village of Saint-Jean-de-Cuculles has a botanical trail in a preserved natural setting that will allow you to learn about the biodiversity of our region. All along the trail, 62 information panels are set up, providing descriptions of the different plant species encountered. The trail is well marked and easily accessible, making it an activity suitable for the whole family. It also offers beautiful views of the vineyards and garrigue. To complete the trail so that it forms a loop, it is completed by a discovery of the old wells and the historical center of the village, with its exceptional view from the esplanade.
Carte du parcours botanique de Saint-Jean-de-Cuculles

The trail

Point 1 is located at a calvary at the intersection of the road through the old village and the road to Cazevieille.
The segment between points 1 and 2 is on a dirt track.
The section between points 2 and 3 is stony, fording the Yorgues stream (dry most of the time).
The rest of the route is on a small road.
The botanical route itself stops at the place called Les Moulières (at the bottom of the map), the rest of the route takes you to the old communal wells.
Along the Chemin du Fond des Bois, admire the view of the village of Saint-Jean-de-Cuculles and the bell tower of its 11th century church, with the Château de Montferrand in the background.

You will discover the following species: 

Almond tree

A tree that grows along roadsides or in orchards, exceeding 8 metres in height.
Its large white or pink bunches announce the coming of spring in January and make it a beautiful ornamental tree.

Description of the Almond tree on Wikipedia



An evergreen tree, it produces flowers and fruit at the same time, from October to December. It is known as a strawberry tree because the edible arbutus turns red as it ripens.

Description of the Arbutus on Wikipedia


February Daphne

A shrub about 1 metre high, with elongated deciduous leaves. The fragrant red or pink flowers appear in February and the leaves in spring. The red fruits that ripen in summer are appreciated by birds but are very poisonous to mammals.

Description of the February Daphne on Wikipedia

Cerisier de Sainte Lucie

St. Lucia Cherry

A very hardy shrub that serves as a rootstock for cherry and plum trees. It has the same smell as freshly cut hay. Its red and black fruits are inedible because they are very bitter. Its leaves are poisonous.

Description of the St. Lucia Cherry on Wikipedia

Platane d'Orient

Old World Sycamore

This species was once used as an ornamental but has been supplanted by the common plane tree, used mainly along roadsides for its shade.

Description of the Old World Sycamore on Wikipedia

Poirier à feuilles d'amandier

Almond-Leaved Pear

Small tree with narrow, elliptical deciduous leaves, whole or formed with 3 very faint lobes. The flowers are formed by 5 white petals obtuse at the top and appear from March to April. The fruits are light brown.

Description of the Almond-Leaved Pear on Wikipedia



A bushy shrub typical of the garrigue, it is very appreciated in cooking for its aroma.
Its blue flowers appear from February.

Description of Rosemary on Wikipedia



Very aromatic plant abundant in the scrubland.

Description of Thyme on Wikipedia


Grape Vine

Climbing plant that clings to the ground by means of tendrils. Cultivated for its grapes, the vine comes in many varieties. Its fruits formed into bunches are consumed fresh (table grapes) or dry or in the form of wine produced from the fermentation of the must (crushed grapes).

Description of the Grape Vine on Wikipedia

Laurier tin


An evergreen shrub, whose fruit, not edible, is a blue-black drupe half a centimeter in diameter.

Description of the Laurestine on Wikipedia

Chêne pubescent

Pubescent Oak

Oak 15 to 25 meters high, with marcescent deciduous leaves, that is to say whose dead leaves fall only in the spring when the new leaves grow.
It is one of the main species of oak used for truffle growing.

Description of the Pubescent Oak on Wikipedia

Chêne Kermès ou chêne des garrigues

Kermes Oak

Also called scrub oak, it is an evergreen shrub very common in this vegetation. Less hardy than the holm oak, it forms impenetrable thickets because of its thorny leaves.
Thanks to its suckering stump it grows back vigorously after a fire.

Description of the Kermes Oak on Wikipedia
Chêne vert

Holm Oak

Emblematic species of our scrublands, it is a large tree of 20 to 30 meters high with dark green evergreen foliage.
Its fruit, the acorn, is brown in color and is very popular with wild boars.

Description of the Holm Oak on Wikipedia


Fig Tree

A small tree, 3 to 7 meters high, with large deciduous leaves of various shapes. Its fruit, the fig, is delicious.
The fig is cut in half to reveal about 1,000 flowers: female flowers with elongated styles and male flowers in strips.

Description of the Fig Tree on Wikipedia


Mediterranean Hackberry

A deciduous tree emblematic of Provence, it is highly prized for the quality of its wood, which is both hard, resistant and flexible, and is used to make tool handles, oars, whips, musical instruments, cart wheels, fishing rods, etc.
Its fruit, the hackberry, is edible.

Description of the Mediterranean Hackberry on Wikipedia

Nerprun Alaterne

Mediterranean Buckthorn

This evergreen scrubland shrub is one of the best choices for an evergreen structure in a dry garden. Its slightly fragrant flowers are yellowish and not very visible. Its fruits, small red then black berries, are appreciated by migratory birds.

Description of Mediterranean Buckthornon Wikipedia


Olive Tree

Sacred tree with an exceptional longevity that can reach more than 3000 years. Its leaves are evergreen and its fruits are fleshy drupes with a hard core that turn black when ripe. Its wood is very hard and can be used to carve kitchen utensils.

Description of the Olive Tree on Wikipedia



Thorny shrub nicknamed "thorn of Christ" because it would have been used to make his crown. Indeed, the brown, fleshy and very branched stems, twisting and intertwining with each other, are covered with many sharp thorns that can exceed 3 cm long. Moreover its sap is very irritating.
In winter it remains on its branches only dry fruits in the shape of flying saucer.

Description of Paliurus on Wikipedia
Ciste de Montpellier

Montpellier Cistus

Very fragrant shrub with white flowers in spring, whose evergreen leaves are sticky and very inflammable.

Description of Montpellier Cistus on Wikipedia
Érable de Montpellier

Montpellier Maple

Deciduous tree with light green leaves that can be easily distinguished turning yellow and flaming red in the fall. Its fruits are disamare which fall while spinning like a helicopter rotor.

Description of the Montpellier Maple on Wikipedia

Narrow-leaved Filaria

Bushy shrub with evergreen foliage, very resistant to wind and drought. Its flowers are small and white and its round fruits are blue-purple and very appreciated by birds in autumn.

Description of the Narrow-leaved Filaria on Wikipedia

Frêne du Midi

Narrow-leaved Ash

A large deciduous tree that likes moist places.
Ash wood, pearly white in color, is a quality wood, both hard and resistant to bending. Formerly used for tool handles, ship frames or tennis rackets, it is now used for staircase construction and in furniture for curved pieces.

Description of Narrow-leaved Ash on Wikipedia

Lierre grimpant


Shrub with long woody stems equipped with spikes used to colonize its neighbors.
The flowers bear small black berries that are eaten by birds.
The ivy is not a parasite of the tree that bears it, on the contrary, the couple tree-ivy is very conducive to biodiversity.

Description of the Ivy on Wikipedia


Jujube Tree

Small tree of Asian origin whose flowers appear at the base of oblong deciduous leaves. Its fruit, the jujube, or Chinese red date, which tastes like a date and a green apple, is rich in vitamins and is used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Description of the Jujube Tree on Wikipedia



Small tree characteristic of the scrubland. The needle-like evergreen leaves have two white stripes on the upper side (which distinguishes them from juniper, whose needles have only one white stripe). The fruits, in the form of reddish-brown berries, are edible. The wood is very hard but brittle, almost rot-proof, aesthetic and very fragrant. It is used for art objects, anti-insects and anti-moths, and for the manufacture of cade oil and essential oil.

Description of Cade on Wikipedia
Orme champêtre

Field Elm

Deciduous tree decimated by graphiosis, a fungal pathogen transmitted by the elm bark beetle, an insect that consumes the bark of the tree. The fungus clogs the sap-conducting vessels, the sap can no longer rise above 7 m, the entire upper part of the elm dies, and sometimes the entire tree.

Description of the Field Elm on Wikipedia

Peuplier blanc

White Poplar

Deciduous tree 15 to 20 meters high. Its smooth white bark becomes thick, gray and rough with the years, then eventually cracks and forms diamond-shaped lenticels. The wood is not very dense and is easy to work with, but not very polished. It is usually used for paper pulp, matches, packaging or plywood, but it is also used for lumber. It is a very poor fuel, producing little heat when burned.

Description of the White Poplar on Wikipedia
Pin d'Alep

Aleppo Pine

Tree very common in the region, colonizing wasteland. Its double needles persist for 2 to 3 years. Its fragile branches break easily, especially under the weight of snow. Its wood is used for the paper industry, crates, packaging, carpentry. Its great flammability causes huge fires in very hot and dry summers. It regenerates easily after a fire.

Description of the Aleppo Pine on Wikipedia

Pistachio Tree

Small shrub with evergreen leaves that turn red in summer by high heat. It gives a resin or gum Kios that hardens in contact with air, used for dental care It is consumable (licorice taste) and is also used for confectionery or alcoholic beverages. An essential oil is also extracted from it and used in pharmacology and perfumery. Toothpicks made from its branches are known to tighten the gums.

Description of the Pistachio Tree on Wikipedia

Pistachier térébinthe

Turpentine Tree

A deciduous shrub that is green in spring and flaming red in fall. Turpentine is extracted from its bark. The pea-sized fruits are white, then pink, red and finally brown when ripe. They give off a strong smell of resin.

Description of the Turpentine Tree on Wikipedia
Laurier sauce


Evergreen tree of 3 to 10 meters, whose leaves are used in cooking for the preparation of marinades, stews, or terrines.
The bay leaves have been used since antiquity to make Aleppo soap. In the Middle Ages, the one who passes his exams is called "laureate"; he receives a crown of laurel bearing berries (bacca laurea), hence "baccalaureate", literally "bay leaf".

Description of the Laurel on Wikipedi

Genêt épineux

Scotch Broom

Very thorny shrub, 1 to 2 m high, with yellow flowers in spring.
Beware of its thorns which scratch the calves of hikers in the scrubland.