Sunday, 26 January 2014

Thymbra capitata

Thymbra capitata Mediterranean Thyme

Tomillo aceitunero

This Thyme is native to the Mediterranean where it flowers from June to October. It grows from 15-40cms tall and is loved by insects.

Thymus granatensis

Thymus granatensis  Thyme

Tomillo colorao

This colourful Thyme is found in southern and eastern Spain and flowers from May to August in the mountains. It grows from 5-30cms tall and is loved by insects, as all Thymes. 

Thymus baeticus

Thymus baeticus Common thyme

Tomillo basto

This Thyme is endemic to southern and eastern Spain and flowers in May and June, growing to a height of 15-50cms and is found up to an altitude of 1,300 metres.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Teucrium lusitanicum

 Teucrium lusitanicum

This bush can grow from 25-50cms tall and flowers from May to July. It is native to the southern Iberian province and NW Africa where it is abundant.

Veronica cymbalaria

Veronica cymbalaria Pale Speedwell

This tiny Speedwell flowers from January to May, and spreads along the ground to approx. 40cms. It can reach a height of 5-8cms. It was originally native to the Mediterranean but is now found on many continents. It was in the Scrophulariaceae family but is being re-classified. There are approx. 500 species of Veronica worldwide.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Campanula erinus

Campanula erinus

This pretty little shrub flowers from March to June and grows from 5-30cms tall. It is native to Southern Europe, North Africa, West Asia and Macronesia. The flowers can be from white to blue.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Stellaria media

Stellaria media Common chickweed

This is native of Europe but has now naturalised in many parts of the world. It flowers from February to June and can grow from 5-25cms tall.

Anagalis arvensis

Anagalis arvensis Scarlett pimpernel 

This beautiful little Pimpernel is now naturalised over the whole world. It flowers from March to October and grows from 5-20cms along the ground.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Salvia sclareoides

Salvia sclareoides Wild sage


This Sage is native to the Iberian Peninsula and can grow to a height of 50cms. It is found in meadows and also close to rivers where this one was photographed.

Salvia verbenaca

Salvia verbenaca Wild clary


This Salvia can flower from February to November and was originally native to west and southern Europe, North Africa and WS Asia. It has now naturalised over many continents. It grows 5-30cms tall.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Lamium album

Lamium album White Dead-nettle

This nettle like plant does not have a sting, and is very attractive when it flowers from May to September. It grows from 50-100cms tall and is native to Europe and Western Asia.

Rosmarinus officinalis

Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary

The Rosemary bush is a native of the Mediterranean where it grows to a height of 50cms-1.5metres. It flowers from November to March and has many culinary uses. It is also used in Aromatherpy. It is now cultivated worldwide.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Iris subbiflora

Iris subbiflora

This attractive Iris is a rare plant native to western Andalucia and Portugal. It grows to a height of 25-50cms. It flowers from April to June .

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Euphorbia characias

Euphorbia characias Large Mediterranean spurge

This large Mediterranean spurge is as it's name suggests native to the Med. Now it is cultivated all over the world as a structural plant for gardens. It can grow from 50cms to 1.5metres and flowers from March to June in the wild.

Ricinis communis

Ricinis communis Castor oil plant

This shrub can grow between 2-5metres tall and flowers from April to January. It is not frost hardy and can be knocked back to the ground, to re-shoot again in the spring. It's seeds are the source of Castor oil, which has many uses, but they also contain Ricin (a toxin). It is said that 4-8 beans are lethal in humans. It was originally native to the Mediterranean basin, East Africa and India. It is now found all over the world in tropical regions.

Euphorbia helioscopia

Euphorbia helioscopia Sun spurge

This Spurge can grow 10-50cms tall and is native to most of Europe, Africa and towards Asia.

Euphorbia serrata

Euphorbia serrata Serrated spurge

This Euphorbia is native to Europe and flowers from February to June. It can grow to a height of 50cms.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Erodium chium

Erodium chium Mediterranean Storksbill

One of the many Erodiums in the Mediterranean, this plant flowers from February to June and can grow to a height of 20cms.

Geranium purpureum

Geranium purpureum  Little Robin

Synonym: Geranium robertianum ssp purpureum.
This little Geranium is native to W and S Europe, N Africa and SW Asia. It flowers from March to June and can grow 5-30cms tall. 

Geranium lucidum

Geranium lucidum Shiny cranesbill

This Geranium is native to Eurasia and flowers from March to June. It can grow to a height of 30-40cms.

Geranium dissectum

Geranium dissectum Cut-leaved cranesbill

This small, delicate Cranesbill is native to Europe, and introduced to other continents. It flowers here from March to June and grows to 30cms in length.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Ulex baeticus ssp baeticus

Ulex baeticus ssp baeticus Andalucian gorse

Aulaga Andaluza
I have been told that it could be Ulex baeticus ssp scaber also as it depends on the exact area I took the photograph. What I do know for certain is that it is Ulex baeticus.
This gorse starts flowering December to May and is endemic to southern Spain and NW Morocco. It grows to a height of 1.2metres and is found in the mountains of Ronda and Grazalema, up to an altitude of 1,900metres, and also around Algeciras.

Quercus suber

Quercus suber Cork oak


This evergreen Cork oak is native to the SW Mediterranean and NW Africa and flowers in April and May. It can grow to a height of 20metres. These photographs show the natural colour of the bark after it has been harvested which is done every 9-12 years. The tree has to be at least 25 years old before the bark is harvested for cork. After a fire this tree has the means to regenerate itself from every branch, as the branches are protected by a deep insulating layer of cork. Other trees after fires either die or regenerate from the base. They live for 150-250 years generally.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Eriobotrya japonica

Eriobotrya japonica Loquat

This large, evergreen shrub, or small tree is native to southern China. It flowers from October to January and has an amazing perfume to fill the winter days. The small orange fruits appear in April and May and have a large stone, almost a third of the size of the fruit. It was cultivated in Japan and has been grown there for over a 1,000 years. It is now very popular in southern Spain and can reach a height of 10metres. In Chinese medicine the Loquat is used as a syrup for soothing the throat and coughs.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Eucalyptus globulus

Eucalyptus globulus Eucalyptus/ Blue gum

This evergreen tree, native to Australasia, can grow to a height of 55metres. It flowers in November and December and is known to explode during a fire, due the the high gum residue. I had read many years ago that Eucalyptus trees were planted along roads in Spain and France to shelter marching soldiers from the heat of the sun.

Diospyros kaki

Diospyros kaki Persimmon kaki/ Sharon fruit

This tree, native to China, seen here in it's autumn colours is very popular in Spain. It can grow to a height of 2-10metres and flowers from May to July. The fruits ripen in the autumn. It is one of the oldest plants in cultivation, known to have been in China 2,000 years ago. Woe betide you if you try to eat it before it is ripe, as it is very fibrous and bitter before it turns red after harvesting. When properly ripe, it is a very sweet fruit.