Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Scandix pecten-veneris

Scandix pecten-veneris Shepherd's needle or Venus's comb

Piene de Venus
This plant grows from March to June and can be between 10-30cm tall. It's beak can grow to 7cm and the seeds are arranged in a row, hence the name "comb." It is disappearing from northern Europe due to agricultural insecticides, but is very common here.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Ferula communis

Ferula communis Giant fennel

This spectacular plant, which covers the countryside in swathes, grows from 1.5m to 2.5m (even 3-4m sometimes) in places and flowers from May to July. It is not used in cookery and has very few medicinal uses. It is a native of the Mediterranean.

Thapsia villosa

Thapsia villosa Villous deadly carrot

Cañaferla o Candileja
It is native to the west Mediterranean and northwest Africa and is highly poisonous. It grows from 1-2m tall and flowers from May to July. It's roots have been used in the past as a purgative and emetic. In Spain it was traditionally used in a product to treat Scabies.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Foeniculum vulgare

Foeniculum vulgare Wild fennel

This plant, with its distinct smell/aroma, flowers from June to October. It grows from 1 to 2m tall and is very straggly in habit. This is the culinary Fennel used in cooking fish, pork and other dishes. It was originally native to the Mediterranean, but has become naturalised in many parts of the world.

Tamus communis

Tamus communis  Black bryony

Nueza negra
This is no relation whatsoever to the plant called White bryony (Bryonia alba).
Black bryony is so named because of its black roots. It flowers from April to July and grows 2-4m and all of the plant is poisonous. It is sometimes called Dioscorea communis.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Thymus hyemalis

Thymus hyemalis Winter Thyme

El  tomillo de invierno
Flowers from November to May and grows to 5-15cm. It only grows in the East of Spain, in provinces Almeria and Granada. It also grows in Murcia and Alicante provinces. I photographed this plant at Cabo de Gata-Nijar Parque Natural in February.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Ajuga chamaepitys

Ajuga chamaepitys Ground pine or Yellow bugle

Pinillo o Bugula amarilla
Flowers from May to September and grows 10-30cm tall.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Rhus coriacea

Rhus coriacea Elm-leaved sumach

Flowers from May to September in the Mediterranean, and starts to turn red in the autumn. The photograph of the red leaves was taken late December. It grows 1.5m to 3m tall. I have not seen this shrub grow any taller.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Phagnalon rupestre

Phagnalon rupestre Rock phagnalon

This plant flowers from March to June and is native to the Mediterranean. It prefers rocky areas but can be found in woodlands at times. It grows 10~50cms tall.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Phagnalon saxatile

Phagnalon saxatile

Manzilla yesquera
Flowers January to May, but is still beautiful at the end of June.
Phagnalon saxatile

In flower in April

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Golden fields of summer

Golden fields of summer

There is very little flowering now due to the heat and lack of rainfall, but in a few short weeks we will have the Mandrake and the Autumn Crocus. There has been no appreciable rain since the middle of May 2013. In June there was 2.5mm, but it did not even soak the ground.

This is what Spain looks like now, 3rd August 2014, but it is still beautiful in its own way.