Blog: Marimurtra alive

The Board of Trustees of the Carl Faust Foundation incorporates three new members

They took possession of their position at the last meeting of this body, last February 23rd

The Foundation’s Board of Trustees incorporated three new members at its last plenary meeting. The three new patterns are:

Jennifer Witty-Che, MsC (Barcelona, ​​1970), is a biologist specialized in Ecology, Bsc from the University of Norwich, and Master in Conservation Biology, Msc from the University of Kent, both in England. She has experience in Environmental Outreach at different universities, especially the American University, Yola, Nigeria, and accumulates different academic and work activities in the United States and the United Kingdom, where the link with the Durrell Wildlife Preservation Trust stands out.

Teresa Garnatje (1960) is a doctor in Botany specialized in Cytogenetic and Evolutionary aspects in addition to the Phylogeny or Evolutionary History of plants.
As a researcher and principal researcher, she has developed a good part of her career at the CSIC and the Botanical Institute of Barcelona, ​​where she was director from 2015 to 2022.

Rafel Ferrer (Blanes, 1973) has a degree in Business Management and Administration, he completed a degree at the University of Staffordshire (BA in Business and Administration). Master in Marketing and Commercial Management for Esade and post-graduate studies in Digital Transformation in the specialization Course in Customer Value Management at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.

The Board of Trustees of the Carl Faust Foundation is the body that governs it. According to its statutes, the maximum number of members is 13, a number that has already been reached with these three recent additions.

Precisely, by virtue of these statutes the board of trustees of the Carl Faust Foundation must at all times be composed of members of at least four nationalities, a condition now fulfilled by having members of Spanish nationality (8), German (2 ), British (2) and Swiss (1).

  • Rafel Ferrer
  • Teresa Garnatje
  • Jennifer Witty
    Jennifer Che Witty

Resum anual del seguiment dels ocells al Jardí Botànic Marimurtra i rodalies – 2022

In 2018, the Marimurtra Botanical Garden started monitoring the birds that nest and live in the garden. For this purpose, 16 nest boxes have been installed in the garden to promote the nesting of the different species that interact with the garden and thus promote biodiversity within it. The maintenance of the nest boxes has made it possible to verify that a nest has been built in six of them.

There are also nine feeders installed throughout the garden, which are checked and filled weekly. In each garden you can find a table feeder, a tubular feeder and a rectangular feeder to which we add different combinations of seeds and nuts.

Weekly, three samplings are carried out in different parts of the Garden, noting those species that have been observed and during the year five more samplings have been carried out spaced in time. A total of 545 birds have been recorded in the garden, corresponding to 34 different species. The most abundant species have been the Tudó (Columba palumbus), the Blue Tern (Parus caeruleus), the Herring Gull (Larus michahellis), the Robin (Erithacus rubecula), the Grosbeak (Serinus serinus), the Blackcap (Sylvia melanocephala) and the Long-tailed Mallerenga (Aegithalos caudatus). Of the 34 species observed, 24 are likely nesting species and seven are safe.

The presence of three interesting new species stands out: the Woodpecker (Loxia curvirostra), the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the Plumed Cormorant (Phalacrocorax aristotelis). Of particular note is the pair of Woodpeckers observed in March, which could be a wintering or potential nesting pair.

All this data collected at the Marimurtra Botanical Garden is added to the database of the Catalan Institute of Ornithology (ICO) within the Birds of the Gardens project.

Vegetable roofs

From an early age, man has used what they have at his disposal to build huts and shelters. Whether to guard against inclement weather or to get a hotter room, the use of stones, branches and leaves has become the walls, beams and roofs of these huts.

Bundles and roofs of Thamnochortus spiciger

Today we continue using these materials in construction and although clay or slate tiles are the most commonly used, we still find constructions where the nature provides the materials needed to save us from rain and sun.

We want to introduce you the specie Thamnochortus spiciger (Thunb.) Spreng. this specie is native from South Africa, specifically from the West Cape of Good Hope. Traditional houses and huts in this area are built with Thamnochortus spiciger (called “olifantsriet” or “dekriet” in Afrikaans) roofs. In the Marimurtra’s Botanical Garden you can find this species in the third garden, just in front of the cliff, in the Fynbos vegetation area.

In Catalonia, we have also traditionally used other species to build roofs and houses, such as the common reed (Phragmites australis) in the tradicional houses Delta de l’Ebre (south Catalonia), or ling (Calluna vulgaris) and diferent species of heath (Erica sp.) in the case of the mountain huts and shelters builts arround the Iberian Peninsula.

Common reed roof from the tradicional houses in Delta de l’Ebre

In other countries, we also find the use of these materials in roof construction, as would be the case oh the english cottages where they use different plants in their construction such as common reed, bulrush (Typha sp.) or rye (Secale cereale) among others; palm trees are also widely used as the specie Arenga pinnata on the roofs of the Meru Towers in Bali or other palm species in constructions in Vietnam, Hawaii or Cuba.

English Cottage
Roof of palm leafes of Meru Toers

As a curiosity, we will finish with a seaweed roof from the Læsø island in Denmark:

House with seaweed roof

Visit of the Environment Minister of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria

Last February 6, the Marimurtra Botanical Garden received the visit of Mrs. Inés Jiménez, Councilor for the Environment of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria. The context of the visit was marked by the events preceding the double commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden, in Gran Canaria, and the 50th anniversary of the death of its creator, the Swede Erik Svensson, later known as Sventenius. Both anniversaries will take place in 2024.

The reception that was organized revolved around the figure of Sventenius, since from 1935 to 1940 he was the gardener and botanist of Marimurtra. A close collaborator of Carl Faust who had, among other things, the haphazard task of running the Marimurtra Botanical Garden through the Spanish Civil War, a task he did successfully while ensuring its survival. To do so, he even went so far as to hang the Swedish flag at the entrance to the Garden to declare it a neutral zone and protect it from attacks from both sides.

Sventenius was a prolific gardener and scientist specializing in cacti who also lived a phase of his life collecting and sorting around the monastery of Montserrat until he moved to the Canary Islands. There he first became involved with the Orotava acclimatization garden and later was the promoter of the Veira y Clavijo de Gran Canaria botanical garden until his untimely death in 1974.
The reception consisted of a description of the figure of Svenenius elaborated by the historian of science and patron of the Carl Faust Foundation, Josep Maria Camarasa. The president of the Cristòfol Jordà Foundation was in charge of reading it in front of the Environment Minister himself and other authorities invited to the event, such as Ms. Sofia Geli Stenhammer, consul of Sweden in Barcelona, ​​and Mrs. Marina Vall-llosada, Councilor for the Environment of Blanes City Council. The patrons Mr. Joaquim Valls and Mr. Rafel Ferrer, in addition to the current director of the Viera y Clavijo botanical garden, and former researcher of Marimurtra, Mr. Juli Caujapé

From this fruitful meeting, the foundations have been laid to bring to terms more actions of collaboration between the two botanical gardens, both for the celebrations related to Sventenius and in other areas of common interest.

El Jardí Botànic Marimurtra posa en obert les dades de la seva estació meteorològica

Això ha estat possible gràcies a la posada en marxa d’una nova estació meteorològica que s’ha situat al 1er Jardí

Després d’un període inicial de proves, la Fundació Carl Faust ha posat en marxa de forma definitiva l’estació meteorològica que s’ha instal·lat al 1er Jardí (essencialment sub-tropical), les dades de la qual són permanentment accessibles a través del web de Marimurtra i, en concret, a la URL

Estació meteorològica Marimurtra

Aquesta estació meteorològica recull fins a 6 paràmetres de tres sensors situats en punts diferents: temperatura, humitat (ambiental i del sòl), pluja, vent (direcció i velocitat), pressió atmosfèrica i radiació solar. La posada en marxa de l’estació es va fer amb la col·laboració dels meteoròlegs Robert Sáez i Pere Casulleras.

Es dona la circumstància que els actuals estatuts de la Fundació Carl Faust preveuen la tasca de recol·lecció de dades meteorològiques al Jardí Botànic Marimurtra en el seu article 2, punt c), quan s’estableix que aquest àmbit d’acció formarà part també dels fins fundacionals.

Des de fa ja més d’una dècada, el Jardí Botànic Marimurtra acull una altra estació meteorològica al 3er Jardí (essencialment Mediterrani), en aquesta ocasió de la xarxa AEMET ( amb qui la fundació ha mantingut i manté un conveni de col·laboració i les dades de la qual també s’ofereix en obert a través del portal d’AEMET. En aquesta ocasió, però, la Fundació Carl Faust ofereix unes dades en obert captades en un punt diferent del Jardí Botànic Marimurtra i a través d’una estació meteorològica pròpia.

La Fundació Privada Carl Faust va ser creada el 1951 per Carl Faust amb l’objectiu de donar continuïtat a la seva obra, el Jardí Botànic Marimurtra. Entre els seus objectius fundacionals hi figuren “…la protecció i el foment dels estudis de biologia mediterrània, especialment en botànica, […] cercant la cooperació i les relacions internacionals en benefici, tot plegat, de la recerca i de la divulgació científiques…”.

El Jardí Botànic Marimurtra té la qualificació de Bé Cultural d’Interès Nacional i el 2009 la Fundació Privada Carl Faust va ser distingida amb la Creu de Sant Jordi de la Generalitat de Catalunya.

Edicions de Marimurtra presents the first volume of the ‘Marimurtra Collections’ series, dedicated to cycads

The volume offers the reader an overview of the cycads in the Marimurtra Botanical Garden

Edicions de Marimurtra, the publishing label linked to the Carl Faust Foundation, owner and manager of the Jardí Botànic Marimurtra, presents its first botanical-themed collection with a work dedicated to the cycads that can be found there. Precisely this botanical family is one of the most prominent and strategic in Marimurtra, so it is also one of the most interesting for visitors.

The volume has been conceived as a tool for knowledge, consultation and assistance during the visit. Thus, in addition to offering an introduction to cycadss, it also catalogs and places on the map the species that can be seen in Marimurtra, which are a hundred and a half of the more than three hundred species that exist throughout the world.

The authors of the work are Pere Fraga, head of Research at the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, and Ivan Soto, an expert gardening technician specializing in cycads. Both authors are part of the human team at Marimurtra, which seeks not only to highlight the value of the botanical collection, but also the technical team responsible for its maintenance and growth.

The book provides abundant photographic material with the aim of facilitating the location and identification of the cycads that can be seen during the visit to Marimurtra. But it has also had the graphic support of UrbanSketchers from Lloret de Mar, who, following a couple of visits to Marimurtra, produced a series of illustrations that have given the book a very remarkable added graphic and artistic value.

Another noteworthy fact is that the book is presented simultaneously in print and digital format and that it will soon be translated into Spanish and English. It can be purchased at science and naturalist bookshops, the Jardí Botànic Marimurtra store and also through its online store

Finally, for the preparation of the book, support has been received from the Diputació de Girona and the BGCI (Botanical Gardens, Conservation International, an organization that groups together a large part of the world’s botanical gardens).

The Carl Faust Private Foundation was created in 1951 by Carl Faust with the aim of continuing his work, the Marimurtra Botanical Garden. Among its founding objectives are “…the protection and promotion of studies in Mediterranean biology, especially in botany, […] seeking cooperation and international relations for the benefit, all in all, of scientific research and dissemination …”.

The Marimurtra Botanical Garden is classified as a Cultural Asset of National Interest and in 2009 the Carl Faust Private Carl Foundation was awarded the Sant Jordi Cross from the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Edicions de Marimurtra is the publishing project of the Carl Faust Foundation that seeks to highlight the botanical, historical and heritage value around the figure of its creator and his work, mainly the Marimurtra Botanical Garden.

Cristòfol Jordà, new president of the Carl Faust Foundation

Jordi Xena, last president of the Carl Faust Foundation, shaking hands with Cristòfol Jordà, on the right, on the day of his appointment as president of the Foundation.

Takes over from Jordi Xena, who was president for six years of the entity that owns and manages the Jardí Botànic Marimurtra

At the last ordinary meeting of the Carl Faust Foundation’s board of trustees, its members unanimously voted for Cristòfol Jordà as the new president of the entity, thus taking over from Jordi Xena i Ballada, who had held the position since 2016 .

Cristòfol Jordà i Sanuy (Les Planes de Vallvidrera, 1958) has worked actively with the activity since 2017, being part of the Scientific Research and Dissemination Committee and chairing the Strategic Planning Committee. By training he is an agricultural technical engineer (UPC) in the specialty of horticulture and gardening, as a professional he has combined activity in the private sector with the exercise of different positions in the public administration.

Jordi Xena i Ballada, Sant Celoni on September 11, 1943, held the presidency of the Carl Faust Foundation for six years, from 2016 to the present. In leaving the position of president, the members of the board of trustees thanked him for his work and dedication during all these years, highlighting the efforts to direct the entity during the complex years of the pandemic and maintain its integrity both financially and institutional

In addition to the relief in the presidency, the Board of Trustees of the Foundation also approved the incorporation of three new trustees: Dra. Teresa Garnatje, Ms. Jennifer Witty Che and Mr. Rafael Ferrer With these three new members, the board of trustees once again reaches the statutory number of members at the same time as it deepens two important lines for the organization: the rejuvenation of its members and the trend towards equal representation.

Josep Maria Camarasa i Castillo, patró de la Fundació Carl Faust, rep la distinció de soci honorífic de la SCB

El 15 de novembre de 2022 la Societat Catalana de Biologia (SCB) va celebrar l’assemblea general ordinària anual a l’Institut d’Estudis Catalans. En acabar l’assemblea es va atorgar el títol de soci honorífic de la SCB a un científic rellevant per a la història de l’entitat. La personalitat que enguany ha estat escollida per a rebre aquesta distinció és el doctor Josep Maria Camarasa i Castillo, patró de la Fundació Carl Faust, per la seva trajectòria científica i el seu gran compromís amb la ciència.

La vinculació de Josep Maria Camarasa amb la SCB es va iniciar el setembre de 1966 com a auxiliar de secretaria del llavors secretari general doctor Babot (Pere Babot i Boixeda). Com es comprèn per la data la Societat era en aquells moments estrictament clandestina. Va entrar-hi com a  membre estudiant el gener de 1967, i el 1973 va passar a numerari.

Elegit successivament vicesecretari (gener 1973 – gener 1979), secretari general (gener 1979-abril 1981) i tresorer (abril 1981-abril 1986) de la Societat. També va ser membre del consell de redacció dels Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Biologia (1982-1996).

Amb motiu del Centenari de la SCB (2012) va publicar un article (2012, amb Oriol Casassas i Cristina Junyent) sobre els 100 anys de vida de la SCB i un llibre (2020, amb Oriol Casassas) sobre els 50 primers (De la Societat de Biologia de Barcelona a la Societat Catalana de Biologia (1912-1963)).

A banda d’aquestes efemèrides principals en relació amb la SCB, Josep Maria Camarasa és també patró de la Fundació Carl Faust des del 2006. Juntament amb la María Elvira, es van encarregar de donar a conèixer la correspondència entre destacat botànic català Ramón Margalef i el fundador del Jardí Botànic Marimurtra, Carl Faust, amb la publicació del llibre De la mar de Blanes a l’oceà planetari, el 2021.

Exposició temporal de carbasses al Jardí Botànic Marimurtra

El Jardí Botànic Marimurtra acaba d’inaugurar una exposició temporal de carbasses que podreu trobar a l’entrada del jardí. Aquesta exposició mostra els fruits de dos gèneres de carbasseres, sis espècies i set varietats diferents, un total de 10 carbasses de mides, formes, textures i colors ben diferents.

Del gènere Cucurbita trobareu la carbassa de pipes (C. pepo), carbassa del bon bust i carbassa de torrar (C. maxima), carbassa de Guernica, carbassa del violí i carbassa cacauet (C. moschata) i la carbassa cabell d’àngel (C. ficifolia). Del gènere Lagenaria trobareu la carbassa “del garrot d’Hèracles” i la carbassa del pelegrí (L. siceraria) i la carbassa serp de Sicília (L. longissima).

Les carbasseres formen part de la família Cucurbitaceae, aquesta família engloba un centenar de gèneres i unes 850 espècies descrites. D’aquesta família, més enllà de les carbasses també obtenim altres fruits com la síndria (gènere Citrullus), el carbassó (també del gènere Cucurbita), el cogombre i els melons (gènere Cucumis) o la carbassa d’esponja (gènere Luffa), carbassa que cultivem per extreure’n la fibra del seu interior i fer-ne esponges de bany. Altres espècies no cultivades de la mateixa família que podem trobar a la península seria la carbassina o briònia (Bryonia dioica) i el cogombre amarg o escarritxagossos (Ecbalium elaterium).

Les carbasseres són plantes que han estat molt cultivades i de les quals se n’aprofita el fruit per menjar. Antigament, també es deixaven assecar els fruits d’algunes espècies perquè un cop secs, les carbasses es tornen buides per dins i s’empraven com a recipient per poder guardar-hi líquids, d’aquí diferents varietats com la carbassa de pelegrí o la carbassa de vi que eren usades com a cantimplora.

Carbasses de Marimurtra

L’exposició temporal de carbasses la componen fruits cultivats al propi jardí botànic i d’altres que ens ha facilitat la cooperativa Les Refardes, amb carbasses cultivades a les finques de Sant Benet de Bages, Datzira a Castellcir, Puig de la Balma a Mura, l’Hort d’en Pau a Alella i en especial també voldríem agrair a la Maria Riera del Mas Roig a Palafolls.

The Carl Faust Foundation presents its own publishing project under the name ‘Edicions de Marimurtra’

Aquesta nova editorial pretén ser una plataforma de divulgació de tota mena de continguts relacionats amb l’obra de Carl Faust i, en especial, el Jardí Botànic Marimurtra
The first work presented by this new publishing house is Carl Faust, Essential Biography, by the historian Eduard Puigventós López

The Carl Faust Foundation presents its own publishing house under the name ‘Edicions de Marimurtra’. This publishing project aims to be an instrument through which to provide content, materials and knowledge about the work of Faust and his main work, the Marimurtra Botanical Garden.

‘Edicions de Marimurtra’ is the first publishing house promoted by a Botanical Garden in our country and was born with the conviction that editorial independence can be a powerful tool to make a significant contribution to the general knowledge of botany, science and work. of Faust in different fields and at different technical and specialization levels.

The date chosen for the presentation of the publishing house is not accidental: a few days before St. George, the quintessential book festival in our country, and also just before the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the death of Faust, the next April 24th.

Edicions de Marimurtra | Fundació Carl Faust

The first work published under this new publishing house is a biography of Carl Faust entitled Carl Faust, an essential biography that contains the most important features contained in the biography published by the Carl Faust Foundation in 2018 entitled The Republic of Biologists. The author of this new version of the biography is again the doctor in history Eduard Puigventós López, author of the previous biography of Faust. The Essential Biography, published with the participation of the Diputació de Girona, aims to be a tool for disseminating Faust’s life that is more accessible to the general public, focusing on the most important moments of his life and giving great importance to images and graphic documentation. L’obra es podrà trobar en català i castellà i es podrà adquirir físicament a la botiga del propi Jardí Botànic Marimurtra, a les principals llibreries de Blanes i el seu entorn, així com a la botiga virtual del Jardí Botànic

From this first work, ‘Edicions de Marimurtra’ will also open other collections to delve into topics related to botany (such as Marimurtra’s strategic collections or the results of applied research projects carried out), knowledge and dissemination of the great figures of biology and science who have passed through the Marimurtra Botanical Garden, the recovery of historical texts, the dissemination of the contents of the Foundation’s archive or the promotion and popularization of botany , among others.

The Carl Faust Private Foundation was created in 1951 by Carl Faust with the aim of continuing his work, the Marimurtra Botanical Garden. Its founding objectives include “… the protection and promotion of studies of Mediterranean biology, especially in botany, […] seeking cooperation and international relations for the benefit, all in all, of scientific research and dissemination. … ”.

The Marimurtra Botanical Garden has been classified as a Cultural Asset of National Interest and in 2009 the Carl Privust Carl Faust Foundation was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi by the Generalitat de Catalunya.