Sunday, 15 December 2013

Thymelaea hirsuta


Thymelaea hirsuta Thymelaea

Boja marina
This unusual plant grows around the coastal Mediterranean and Sahara deserts. It flowers November to May and can grow to 2 metres. It was traditionally used for paper (called Mitnan paper in Arabic) and rope making from the inner bark of the plant. This photo was taken in the Cabo de Gata-Nijar park.



Friday, 6 December 2013

Nicotiana glauca

Nicotiana glauca Tobacco tree

Tobaco moruno

This plant can grow to 5 metres and is native to South America. It flowers all year. It is now found all over the world in temperate zones. This particular plant appeared in a friend's garden this year in Ronda, the seeds dropped by a bird presumably. I have also seen it in Almeria. It is smoked by Native American Indians, but the leaves are highly toxic if ingested, causing death.


Hyoscyamus albus

Hyoscyamus albus White henbane

Beleño blanco
This plant is native to the Mediterranean and north Africa. It grows to 50cms and flowers from April to September. It is toxic as it contains Hyoscyamine which has been used as a narcotic in anaesthetics and also as an aphrodisiac!


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Diplolepis mayri

Diplolepis mayri Rose gall

I found this gall in June on a wild rose. It was created by an insect, which I can't identify.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Castanea sativa



Castanea sativa  Chestnut trees

The trees can grow to 35 metres  high but they are much smaller in the Genal valley, due to harvesting of the chestnuts. They have been here for hundreds of years and are probably native to the area. They flower in the spring and the chestnuts are harvested in November.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Aeonium arboreum

Aeonium arboreum

This cultivated plant sometimes escapes into the wild and flowers from December to April. It was originally native to Morocco, but has naturalised in Gibraltar. It grows from 40-80cms tall. This one was photographed in Almeria.

Sedum acre

Sedum acre

Pampararito
This beautiful yellow Sedum is native to Europe, NW Africa and W Asia. It grows from 3-10cms tall and flowers from May to July in calcareous rocks above 600 metres.

Sedum album

Sedum album

Uva de gato
This common Sedum is native to Europe, NW Africa and SW Asia. It flowers from May to July and grows from 10-25cms.

Sedum hirsutum ssp baeticum

Sedum hirsutum ssp baeticum

This pretty Sedum is native to the Mediterranean and NW Africa. It grows from 5-15cms and flowers from June to August.

Sedum mucizonia

Sedum mucizonia

This tiny Sedum flowers from May to July and grows from 5-15cms tall. It is native to southern Portugal and Spain, and NW Africa.

Sedum sediforme

Sedum sediforme

Uña de gato
This Sedum flowers from June to August and grows from 10-40cms. It is native to the Mediterranean and France. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Typha domingensis


Typha domingensis Bulrush

This Bulrush or Southern cattail is native to temperate or tropical climes. It grows up to 2 metres tall and it used to be used to treat wounds, such as burns. It flowers from July to November.


Monday, 11 November 2013

Ceratonia siliqua


Ceratonia siliqua Carob tree

Algarrobo
This tree can grow to a height of 15 metres and flowers in November and December. It is native to the Mediterranean and north Africa. The dried seed pods are edible for animals and humans. They can be crushed into a powder and used in baking. It is a substitute for chocolate.



Sunday, 10 November 2013

Xanthium strumarium ssp cavanilliesii

Xanthium strumarium ssp cavanilliesii  Italian cocklebur

Abrojo
This plant now grows all over the world and is another plant whose burrs will attach themselves to animals or humans. It can grow to a height of 150cms and originated in south America.

Xanthium spinosum

Xanthium spinosum Spiny cocklebur

This lethal plant with its burrs will stick to anything. The burrs are hooked so will attach themselves to humans, animals and float on water. It is a noxious weed worldwide and flowers and seeds from July to  October. It grows from 20-50cms tall.

Datura stramonium

Datura stramonium Thorn apple

Estramonio
This plant was native to north America but is now found all over the world. It flowers from July to October and grows from 25-150cms. It has been used for centuries to relieve asthma and is also an analgesic. It is also a powerful hallucinogen which can last for days!


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Autumn colours


 Rhus coriaria Elm-leaved sumach
Poplar trees in their autumn colours

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Helianthemum syriacum

Helianthemum syriacum

Hierba sana
This lovely Rock rose is a native of the Mediterranean, though absent from Portugal. It flowers from March to June and grows to 50cms tall. This photograph was taken in Almeria province.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Petrorhagia velutina

Petrorhagia velutina Chiding pink

This plant grows on grass-like stems 10-40cms tall, and flowers from April to June. It is present in the Mediterranean, north Africa, Australia and South Africa.


Vaccaria hispanica

Vaccaria hispanica Cow basil

This plant is native to Eurasia and its seeds are used in Chinese medicine, for diuresis and activate blood circulation among other things. It flowers from April to July and grows from 15-40cms tall.

An almost white form of Vaccaria hispanica


Sunday, 3 November 2013

Cerastium gibraltaricum ssp gibraltaricum

Cerastium gibraltaricum ssp gibraltaricum Snow in summer

Cerastio de Granada
This plant grows from 20-40cms and is native to the mountains of SW Spain and Morocco. It flowers from April to July.

Autumn shadows in an Olive grove

Autumn shadows in an Olive grove

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sinapsis alba ssp alba

Sinapsis alba ssp alba White mustard

Mostaza blanca
Another mustard flowering in orchards and verges from March to June. It is now grown worldwide for its mustard seeds, but it is thought that it originated in the Mediterranean. It grows from 20-60cms.

Biscutella auriculata

Biscutella auriculata Wild mustard

Anteojas
This plant covers orchards and olive groves in a pale lemon from April to June. It is native to southern Europe and north Africa. It grows from 30-50cms tall.




Lonicera implexa

Lonicera implexa Honeysuckle

Madreselva
This Honeysuckle is native to southern Europe and scrambles among trees and shrubs.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Sinapsis arvensis

Sinapsis arvensis Field or Wild mustard

Mostaza silvestre
It is a native of the Mediterranean basin and grows to a height of 20-60cms from April to October.

Biscutella frutescens

Biscutella frutescens

This plant is native to southern Spain and north Africa and grows out of rocks and crevices. It grows at an altitude of 400-1400 metres and it can grow from 30-60cms tall. It flowers from March to July.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Campanula rapunculus

Campanula rapunculus Rampion bellflower

Raponchigo
This Campanula flowers from May to July and can grow from 30-100cms. It is native to Europe.

Campanula mollis

Campanula mollis

Campanilla de roca
Synonym: Campanula velutina

This plant grows out of rocks and crevices south of the Iberian peninsula and north Africa.
It flowers from May to July and can grow to a height of 10cm and a spread of 40cms.

Campanula lusitanica ssp lusitanica





Campanula lusitanica ssp. lusitanica

This lovely Campanula is native to the Mediterranean and MW Africa. The stems can grow to 35cms tall with alternate leaves. It is found in forest clearings and other open areas.
I hope that I have identified it correctly.


Echium plantagineum

Echium plantagineum  Bugloss

Viborera

This is a white form of the blue bugloss and flowers from February to July. It is very common in Europe, including southern UK. It grows from 25-50cms.

Lobularia maritima

Lobularia maritima Sweet Alyssum or Alison

Mastuerzo maritimo
Synonym: Alyssum maritimum
This pretty Alyssum, with hairy leaves, flowers in crevices and scree from November to June. It is native to the Mediterranean, Canaries and the Azores. It grows from 5-30cm tall and spread.

Alyssum simplex

Alyssum simplex

This yellow Alyssum flowers from March to June and grows from 10-15cms. It is native to the Mediterranean, Eurasia and north Africa.
  

Monday, 28 October 2013

Anchusa granatensis

Anchusa granatensis Wavy-leaved anchusa

Chupamieles
Synonym: Anchusa undulata ssp granatensis
This plant is native to the Mediterranean at anywhere between 200-1.700 metres. It can grow from 15-60cms and supposedly flowers from April to June, but this photograph was taken in late February in central Andalucia.



Sunday, 27 October 2013

Leucanthemum paludosum

Leucanthemum paludosum

This plant flowers from the winter until May in the western Mediterranean and Morocco. It grows from 5-15cms.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Carlina gummifera

Carlina gummifera Stemless atractylis

Cardo ajonjero

Synonym: Atractylis gummifera
This highly toxic plant flowers from August to November. The juice of the rhizomes can cause Hepatitis and fatal liver failure, especially in young children. It is native to the Mediterranean and north Africa.  Photograph taken in Tarifa area.





Anacyclus clavatus


Anacyclus clavatus White buttons

Botoncillo
This lovely daisy is native to southern Europe and northern Africa and flowers from March to June. It grows from 10-40cms tall.