Blog: Marimurtra alive

Marimurtra welcomes Mia and Louisa, volunteers of the ESC European program

On October 1st, 2023, Mia and Louisa arrived in Blanes to join the Marimurtra team. They are the two German volunteers who are part of the “Volunteers for a Green Future” project, coordinated together with the German organization Naturkultur, e.V. and framed in the European program “European Solidarity Corps”.

The Carl Faust Private Foundation, host organization for this project, owner and manager of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, welcomes two volunteers from the European Solidarity Corps from October until June. This European program aims to offer young people the opportunity to participate in volunteering projects that benefit the community that hosts them, as well as providing them with high-level non-formal learning. Specifically, this project lasts nine months and receives more than 90 requests each year.

During their stay, the volunteers participate in activities at the Botanical Garden related to sustainable conservation, education and scientific dissemination and the applied research that is carried out in Marimurtra. In addition, thanks to the collaboration with the Linguistic Standardization Consortium (CNL), the volunteers will participate in a basic level Catalan course to facilitate their integration in our home.

This is the fifth time that Marimurtra has participated in the ESC program by hosting volunteers, since it received the European quality seal in 2019, thus continuing the presence of international volunteers in its facilities in a program linked to the European Union which we can already consider consolidated.

voluntaries marimurtra esc
MLouisa (on the left) and Mia (on the right) in the pergola of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden


50th anniversary of the Manifesto ‘Catalan, language of scientific expression’

On August 20th, the event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Manifesto ‘Catalan, language of scientific expression’ took place in Prada de Conflent, in which Josep Maria Camarasa, member of the board of trustees of the Fundació Carl Faust, manager of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden.

Josep Maria Camarasa is one of the four surviving speakers of the eleven who presented the manifesto 50 years ago.

In 1973, the manifesto on the use of Catalan in scientific communication was presented, drawn up by 11 speakers of different ages and specialties who represented the different generations of Catalan scientists active at the time.

Although the manifesto was presented at the beginning of the decade of the 70s, it is contextualized in the era of ‘sixties’, which as well transcribed by Camarasa “It was a plural movement and of great vitality, which manifested itself as the expression of a very fierce collective will in which two objectives converged: the rejection of Francoism and the affirmation of culture (and language) as a defining form of Catalan identity”.

The presentation of this Manifesto was a belated manifestation of all the movements and actions that took place during the ‘sixties’: resumption of the science branches of the IEC, launch of the Great Catalan Encyclopedia with considerable attention to the topics scientists, incorporation of valuable scientists such as Enric Casassas, Ramon Margalef or Antoni Prevosti into the UB and the nascent UAB, first participation in Antarctic expeditions by Catalan scientists such as Antoni Ballester or Josefina Castellví, scientific vocabularies such as the Electronic Dictionary of Lluis Marquet (1971) or the Vocabulary of Medicine (1974) of the Academy of Medical Sciences, among other milestones.

On August 25, 1973, Oriol Casassas and Ramon Folch presented in the gymnasium of the Liceu Renouvier de Prada, in front of 300 people, the initial document they had drafted, which was approved, with some amendments, in the following weeks it was signed by numerous scientists from the Catalan Countries and was presented to the Institute of Catalan Studies.

The manifesto claims the use of the Catalan language in all areas but specifically in the scientific community and establishes different criteria for scientific publications with very solid arguments that take into account the history and use of the language.

A document that has become extremely important for the consolidation and regularization of the Catalan language in all its areas, but above all in the field of science.

The recorded memorial service can be viewed at this link.

50è aniversari del Manifest El català, llengua d'expressió científica

Amira Benali | Biotechnology Internship in Marimurtra

Every year the Carl Faust Foundation welcomes different internship students to the Marimurtra Botanical Garden who carry out the practical learning part of their studies.

In this case, Amira Benali, student of the Degree in Biotechnology at the University of Girona, explains to us what her internship at the Garden has consisted of.

Basically, he has been working with plant extracts. In the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, no chemical products have been used to carry out treatments for 6 years. Instead, plant extracts are used. As Amira says ‘…healing plants from plants‘.

During her stay, Amira has been able to observe in the short term the effects and changes in the horticultural species on which the treatments have been applied, in order to see in which cases their application benefited the plant. In addition, the species with which the Marimurtra Botanical Garden makes the extracts, nettle, horsetail, bora and solan, are grown in the same garden.

Experience of Anaïs Dupuy’s landscaping practices

Anaïs Dupuy has taken a 2-month internship from her studies at the National School of Architecture and Landscape Design in Bordeaux to become a landscape designer.

During his stay he has carried out maintenance and conservation tasks for the Garden and has also developed the project to consolidate the ethnobotanical area and create a rockery in the second Garden.

To carry out this project, Anaïs had to document herself looking for information about the area of ​​ethnobotany and thus be able to have a good base on which to work. This has required a lot of preparatory field work, taking measures to be able to have sketches to scale to know very well all the corners of the space.

He has made several realistic and aesthetic plans of how the area of ​​ethnobotany is today, painted with watercolors, and in which you can observe his artistic talent, as well as other plans, which reflect a future proposal of how it could stay in this area after implementing the actions proposed in the project. He has also presented sketches in a more technical and precise format, made with a computer.

The composition of the elements and species of the project has a sense of being, and a justification both botanical and landscape. Anaïs has taken into account different factors when distributing the elements in the space such as the alternation of different densities of the vegetation in the area, which is a space accessible by sight, and the maintenance of a global coherence of the entire space.

His exhaustive work has increased and encouraged the development of this project which has acquired a very creative and interesting character. Anaïs’ move to Marimurtra has been a pleasure for the whole team.

If you are interested in an internship at the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, you can find more information at

La Fundació Carl Faust estudia mesures de millora de gestió energètica i consum gràcies a un Cupó de Competitivitat

La FUNDACIO CARL FAUST ha desenvolupat el projecte “Anàlisi i viabilitat de l’aplicació de la IA en els processos operatius” que ha estat subvencionat amb el suport d’ACCIÓ en el marc del programa Cupons de Competitivitat: Cupons de Canvi Climàtic.

El projecte ha consistit en apropar el Jardí Botànic Marimurtra, propietat i gestionat per la Fundació, a uns estàndards basats en els edificis de consum quasi nul (nZEB) o a l‘acreditació LEED o BREEAM, potenciant les hibridacions d’energies renovables i economia circular per un aprofitament dels potencials disponibles segons la zona climàtica i tipologia d’edificació.

Fundació Carl Faust

Sustainable and local products in Marimurtra

In the Marimurtra Botanic Garden shop you will find a wide variety of products, from the part of the charity shop with products from Intermon Oxfam, to the sale of plants from Marimurtra’s own collection which are a magnificent detail like as a souvenir of the visit to the Garden, and zero kilometer products.

One of our star products is the flower honey from the apiary of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, made by the thousands of bees that live in the Garden. These live in Marimurtra hives and fly over the whole Garden collecting pollen from different species from all over the world. That is why this honey is enigmatic and unique since it is impossible to find out exactly which flowers its honey is from.

The store also supports local artisans, as is the case with Laviret, a Blanes company that produces different types of drinks. Among its range of products, Can Ballena ratafia stands out, made with natural products from the area, such as green walnuts and fresh aromatic plants collected in Blanes; and the myrtle liqueur made with murtrons harvested in the Garden from the same plant that gives its botanical name, the myrtle (Myrthus communis).

This is also the case with Ses Vernes, specialists in artisan cavas made with Blanes grapes. In the shop you can buy two of their varieties of cava.

The purchase of local products favors the reduction of the footprint, since the costs and negative effects of transport and distribution are minimal. In addition, it is a circular economy clearing which, in other words, means that it helps to promote the local economy and to support the producers of the area.

Visit Marimurtra and take a piece of our land with you!

Productes proximitat Marimurtra

Visit of the research group of the UAB Plant Physiology Unit (C. Poschenrieder)

Recently, members of the research group of the Plant Physiology Unit of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, ​​currently coordinated by Roser Tolrà, and until recently coordinated by Charlotte Poschenrieder, member of the Carl Faust Foundation’s board of trustees, visited the Marimurtra Botanical Garden. This group has specialized in the study of plant growth and development under abiotic stress (salinity, drought, deficit and excess of trace elements) and its interaction with biotic stress (fungal infections, herbivory). His research projects are generally focused on research projects focused on the adaptation mechanisms of plants to adverse factors of both carbonate soils and tropical acid soils and the rhizospheric processes involved.

The group, which visited the Marimurtra accompanied by a guide, showed a lot of interest in the new dune area, a small representation of a dune system where we find a population of Achillea maritima, a species considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Marimurtra is carrying out a project to recover and replant this taxon from 2021. So, once the plants are vigorous, they are planted at points on the Catalan coast in order to increase and consolidate the natural populations of this species.

Likewise, they were also very interested in the range of adaptations that plants show depending on the climate of their area of ​​origin. This is a phenomenon called evolutionary or genetic convergence and it can be seen very clearly in the pergola and the cacti viewpoint, where we find plants typical of the humid subtropical zone and the arid subtropical zone.

Charlotte Poschenrieder is currently a member of the Carl Faust Foundation’s board of trustees and an active member of the Scientific Research and Dissemination Commission. She was coordinator of the Plant Physiology group until Roser Tolrà took over. It is always a pleasure to welcome you to Marimurtra, and in this case, also to your colleagues in the department.

Farewell to volunteers Sophie and Henrike

Sophie and Henrike are two girls from Germany who decided to volunteer after finishing high school and before deciding on the first steps towards their future career. Through the European Solidarity Corps they found the Green Future project, carried out in collaboration between the Carl Faust Foundation and Naturkultur, e.V., a German entity based in Bremen.

In this project, the volunteers help sustainably conserve the plant collection of the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, while participating in tasks related to research and the dissemination work of the Botanic through participation in a wide range of ‘activities. At the same time that they have integrated perfectly into the Marimurtra team, they have lived an immersive experience in Catalan culture by participating in meetings and parties, as well as traveling to Spanish cities, with the desire to discover other places and ways of doing things.

After 9 months, it was time to say goodbye to them and thank them. We thank them for devoting their time to us, and above all for showing so much interest and always being ready to learn countless things, with the hope that this experience will leave a very positive impression on them.

On behalf of the entire Marimurtra team, thank you!

Reports Henrike:

Reports Sophie:

The loss of Phoenix canariensis at Marimurtra

In the last two decades, pests have appeared that have no predator. The use of chemical insecticides to combat them affected other pollinating species, such as bees or birds. Marimurtra has been managing FitoZero in the garden for 6 years (no chemical treatment).

When treatments were carried out with chemical products, four treatments were carried out; and with the management with ecological products, the number of treatments must be doubled in order to have a similar effectiveness. Occasionally, there are different circumstances that make it difficult to carry out all the treatments, and when constancy cannot be maintained is when there are these casualties of different specimens. It is for this reason that these two specimens of Phoenix canariensis have been cut down, specifically due to the attack of the weevil beetle, also known as the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus).

However, there are different causes that can lead to the loss of different specimens, such as pests, climate change or the appearance of invasive species, among others.

Before or after the palm tree is removed, the species planted is being replaced. In order to increase diversity and reduce the number of specimens of the same species and to avoid having to combat these new pests that have no predator.

The Phoenix canariensis of Marimurtra

Palms belong to the Arecaceae family, which are monocotyledonous flowering plants. It is also known as the palm family (Palmae).

It is a family native to tropical and subtropical zones, in Europe there is only one native species, the palmetto (Chamaerops humilis), all the other palms in our territory have been introduced by man. In the tropics they occupy all types of biotopes, from rainforest to desert. They generally prefer water-rich but well-drained soils with high temperatures.

Palms are generally arboreal plants (more rarely shrubby or lianoid) but with a completely different organisation to other trees.

1. Palms are monocotyledonous, like grasses. However, palms are actually megaforbs (giant grasses). When the seeds germinate, a single cotyledon emerges, a primitive leaf that is very reminiscent of grass. In the case of the genus Phoenix, it is a single leaf.

2. Monocotyledons are plants that only multiply by seed.

Propagation by cuttings is widely used in tree propagation, but it is difficult to make it work in palms. On the one hand, few palms develop several trunks (Chamaerops humilis, Phoenix dactylifera, Cyrtostachys renta or Nannorhops ritchiana), and on the other hand, palms lack cambium or secondary meristem, without this meristem, there can be no growth.

3. The structure of palms is fibrous, not woody and the trunk is not a true trunk, it does not develop growth rings (pines make 1 ring per year), it is known by the name of stipe.

The stipes only grow in width (secondary growth) until they reach their final thickness, which depends on the species. After that, their diameter is constant from the stem to the terminal leaf cluster. The only part with meristematic tissues, with the capacity for growth, is the upper part of the trunk of palms, what we call “the eye of the palm”. With rare exceptions, the stipe is not branched. If the stipe is injured, it does not recover. Along the stipe are the marks left by the petioles of the falling leaves.