The Adriatic Times Sinke

Not many people are aware that Komiza, the gorgeous settlement located on western shores of Vis Island, is a home to some very unique living beings. Believe it or not, we literally talk about Giants and vampires of Komiza. But let’s start the story from the beginning.

On Potok locality, one can find one of the oldest carob trees in the world. According to professor Ita Samardija, professor of Pharmacology and Biochemistry at Zagreb University, the plant in question is over two millennia old. In other words, its existence precedes the birth of Jesus. As you approach its eleven-meter wide trunk and seven gigantic branches, you feel nothing but awe and sense of respect.

Giants and Vampires of Komiza

However, this magnificent plant is very much threatened. The archaic organism has begun to dry, and not because of old age. “The problem is called Cossus Cossus,” a young agronome Zoran Demarija told Moj Otok Vis webportal. “It is a species of butterfly which hosts its eggs in tree trunks. The larvae, some even having seven centimeters in length, are digging tunnels through the branches, causing much harm to the plant. It is literally a vampire of carob trees.”

Demarija, however, doesn’t intend to just watch the clash between Giants and Vampires of Komiza. He intends to fight the butterfly with specially designed countermeasures, including a set of Swiss-made pheromone compounds which might repel the insects from the tree.

The gigantic plant is not the only specimen of its kind on Vis Island. Demarija explained that carobs were systematically planted and harvested onsite. The first wave occurred in times when Vis was being settled by Greek colonists. The second wave came during the rule of Venetians, when couples wanting to marry had to plant a couple of these trees in order to be wed. Finally, the carobs were harvested between two world wars, providing the locals with tasty fruits. Uniquely enough, trees from each of this period exist on Vis. Hopefully, they will win the war against the butterflies and continue to impress human population with their age and size.


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