The Sea Marigold, Calendula maritima is listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This bright yellow flower is found in Sicily and surrounding islets, growing on the decaying remnants of nitrogen rich sea grass that is washed ashore.
The Sea Marigold is primarily threatened by the encroachment of urban habitat loss on its natural habitat. Since there are currently no legal measures in place to protect this attractive plant, it also faces the threat of collection for its beautiful flowers. In addition to these threats, it has in recent years had to aggressively compete with an alien other species intrusion, the Iceplant or Hottentot Fig.
For now, it is only the Nature Reserves "Saline di Trapani e Paceco" and "Isole dello Stagnone di Marsala" that offer the Sea Marigold protection. Last year, this species was chosen as the official symbol of the province of Trapani. This decision will be accompanied by conservation measures in the field.