Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Rorippa nasturtium~aquaticum

Rorippa nasturtium~aquaticum Watercress


This aquatic plant is found all over Europe and Asia in streams, pools and damps places. It is now cultivated worldwide. It flowers from February to August and can spread to several metres. It can grow to an height of 50cms. Synonym: Nasturtium officinale.  It is one of the oldest known leaf consumed by humans. It thrives in water that is slightly alkaline, and it contains iron, calcium, iodine and manganese.

Conyza sumatrensis

Conyza sumatrensis Guernsey fleabane


This weed is very abundant here from May to October and is probably native to South America. It grows from 50cms to 2 metres tall and seeds itself freely and is now worldwide.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Bellis sylvestris

Bellis sylvestris Southern Daisy


This southern daisy is native to central and southern Europe and can grow to an height of 6 ins, 10~15cms. It is abundant in many areas and is winter flowering, from November to April. It has a creeping rhizome and the basal leaves form rosettes. It is found in meadows and shady grassy verges.

Asphodelus albus

Asphodelus albus White Asphodel

 Gamon de montaña

I am not 100% sure that I have identified this correctly, but it is a White Asphodel. It could be A. ramosus. It grows from 50~150cms tall and flowers in the mountains of the Mediterranean and north Africa from May to August. 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Asparagus acutifolius

Asparagus acutifolius Wild Asparagus

Espárragos triguero

This wild Asparagus, an evergreen perennial is native to the Mediterranean basin and can grow from 30~140cms tall or spread. The Latin name acutifolius means thorny leaves, as they are shaped like thorns.The flowers are bell~shaped white to yellowish and berries form from July to October. They do eventually turn red. From January to April you see the locals out collecting the delicious tender stems for cooking.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Equisetum telmateia

Equisetum telmateia  Giant or Great Horsetail

Cola de Caballo

This herbaceous perennial plant with separate, sterile photosynthetic stems. and pale non~photosynthetic spore~bearing fertile stems. it grows from 40~140cms tall. It is found in damp shady places. This species is found in Europe, western Asia and NW Africa. 

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Silene nocturna

Silene nocturna

This little plant I have now identified with the help of "anonymous". Thank you for your help. The photo was taken on 5,5,2013 at Montejaque, Serranía de Ronda. it was approx. 25cms tall. It is very common throughout Iberia where it is a native, and also The Canary Islands and SW Asia. It can grow to an height of 40cms. 

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Arenaria erinacea

Arenaria erinacea Arenaria

This endemic plant to the mountains of the Iberian Peninsula only grows from 5~10cms tall. I found it at the end of it's flowering season (May to August) after a very hot and dry summer. It bears white flowers which I hope to find earlier in the year next year, to obtain photographs.
It grows in cracks in limestone rocks and on scree at an altitude of 1,000~1,500 metres.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Achillea odorata

Achillea odorata Achillea


This pretty plant only flowers in June and July and is native to the SW Mediterranean, including Morocco and Algeria. It grows up to 30cms tall and has finely toothed leaves.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Hedera maderensis ssp iberica

Hedera maderensis ssp iberica Madeiran Ivy

This plant is endemic to Portugal, SW Spain and north Morocco. It is a climber growing from 20~30 metres in length and flowers from April to December, followed by blue/black berries over the winter months. It climbs by aerial roots clinging to rocks, trees or substrata. It is a subspecie of the endemic Madeiran Ivy, from the island of Madeira.


Crocus serotinus

Crocus serotinus Autumn crocus

Azafrán de otoño

This lovely autumn crocus is native to the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. It grows up to 15cms tall with long thin green leaves that appear towards the end of flowering. It flowers from September to November and prefers stony fields and pastures.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Genista hirsuta ssp.lanuginosa

Genista hirsuta ssp.lanuginosa Pincushion Gorse


This fairly rare plant is endemic to the mountains of Cádiz and Málaga provinces of Andalucía and also the Rif montains of Morocco. It grows from 30~50cms tall and forms small round bushes, hence it's name of Pincushion gorse. It is found in the undergrowth of oaks and pine forests and flowers from March to June. Photo taken in Sierra de las Nieves.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Alyssum malacitanum

Alyssum malacitanum 

This lovely plant flowers from May to August and can grow from 10~30cms tall. It is native to southern Europe and Africa. It thrives on stony, rocky ground and prefers limestone. It is a woody, grey perennial. Synonym is Alyssum serpyllifolium ssp malacitanum.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sherardia arvensis

Sherardia arvensis Field madder

This annual plant, common to fields and meadows was originally native to Europe, North Africa and Asia has now naturalised on several continents. It can grow to 40cms in length and has tiny pink flowers, usually only 3mm in diameter. The fleshy roots have been used in the production of red dye.

Myrtus communis

Myrtus communis Common Myrtle


This evergreen shrub or small tree can grow to an height of 5 metres tall and is native to the Mediterranean. The leaves contain a fragrant essential oil. It flowers from June to August but this flower was found in December 2014 at an altitude of 1,370m. It has blue/black berries . In Greek mythology it was a sacred plant to Aphrodites.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Calamintha nepeta

Calamintha nepeta  Lesser Calamint


This plant is a perennial herb with shiny green leaves. It smells like a cross between mint and oregano and is used in Italian cooking. It is a native to the Mediterranean and can grow to an height of 18 inches, 50cms. It can flower from the spring through to the late autumn.

Friday, 16 October 2015

Bupleurum rigidum

Bupleurum rigidum

Oreja de liebre

This little plant could be Bupleurum rigidum ssp. paniculacum, but I neglected to take photos of the leaves so it cannot be identified 100%. It is native to the Mediterranean, and grows in or near oak and pine forests in the mountains. It flowers from July to October and can grow to an height of 80cms, but this plant was no more than 20cms. It was used as an anti~inflammatory and also for oedema.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Verbena officinalis

Verbena officinalis Common Verbena/Vervain


This delicate herb was originally native to Europe, Asia and Africa but has now naturalised in North America. It can grow to a metre tall, with delicate, spindly growth. The flowers are very tiny, and the delicate leaves are toothed. In northern Europe it is a sacred herb, used to defend against demonic diseases.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Colchicum lusitanum

Colchicum lusitanum Colchicum

This beauty is beginning to appear in our mountains. It is native to the Iberian pennisula and grows to an height of  10cms and flowers from September to October. It has no leaves whilst in flower as they appear later.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Prunus spinosa

Prunus spinosa Blackthorn/Sloe


This deciduous shrub or small tree is native to Europe, Asia and NW Africa. It has now naturalised in New Zealand and eastern United States. It can grow to an height of 5 metres and has very thorny branches. It has creamy white flowers that appear in early spring before the Hawthorn, and produces drupes, or sloes in the autumn. They can be used to make Sloe Gin as it is called in the UK, or a liquor in other parts of the world. The bark of the shrub is very dark, hence its name, and makes good fire wood.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Tanacetum annuum

Tanacetum annuum Blue Tansy

This herb is native to the western Mediterranean and Morocco. It flowers from September to possibly February and can grow to an height of 60cms. It is extremely poisonous if ingested, but is used in Essential Oils for a number of medicinal purposes.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Rhamnus myrtifolius

Rhamnus myrtifolius


This small rock hugging shrub is native to France, Spain and NW Africa. It has adapted to extreme drought and thrives in limestone rocks and can reach a height of 30cms, but normally it is only about 10cms tall. It has a spread of 1 to 2 metres. It flowers from February to April, and the red berries appear in the summer.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Rubus ulmifolius

Rubus ulmifolius Wild Blackberry


This sweet wild Blackberry is native to Europe and North Africa, but has now naturalised on other continents. It can be a pest, growing in the wrong place, and will spread up to 6 metres in length as it scrambles. In southern Spain the berries remain very small and dry due to the lack of rainfall. It flowers from May to July and usually fruits in August. The berries contain vitamins, A, B, C and also iron. They also contain flavonoids which prevent cancer and reduce cholesterol. They make delicious blackberry and apple crumbles or pies.

Echinopsis pachanoi

Echinopsis pachanoi St. Peter cactus

San Pedro

This beautiful cactus is native to the Andes mountains and grows at 2,000~3,000 metres of altitude. I found this plant at a restaurant at approx. 1,000 metres above El Chorro and the Costa del Sol. Sometimes there are spines on the plant, but this one was spineless and it can grow up to 6 metres in height. Large white flowers open at night and these can be up to 25cms (10 inches) in length and 7 inches wide. The flower stems are covered in tiny black hairs. It has traditionally been used in medicine and contains many chemicals including psychedelic drugs. It's common name is St. Peter, who holds the key to heaven's gate, there is a belief that using the plant allows you to reach heaven without leaving earth! It is banned from many countries due to it's chemical contents, especially mescaline.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Parkinsonia Florida

Parkinsonia Florida

Palo Verde

This cultivated tree is native to SW of the United States and NW Mexico. I found it in El Chorro, Málaga province. It grows to an height of 12 metres tall and is drought tolerant. The trunk and leaves take on a blue~green colour, but the leaves do not appear until after rainfall. The flowers are bright yellow and pea like, which are followed by flat seed pods.
It rarely survives beyond 100 years of age.

Lythrum junceum

Lythrum junceum Creeping loosestrife


This perennial plant is native to SW Europe, and the Mediterranean. It grows from 20~60cms tall and flowers from Mat to September. It is found on moist meadows or close to streams and rivers.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Lythrum salicaria

Lythrum salicaria Purple loosestrife


This beautiful plant is in full bloom now and flowers generally from June to September. It is native to Europe, NW Africa, Asia and SE Australia. It has been introduced into north America by bee keepers for the nectar. It is usually found growing near streams and rivers and can grow to 2 metres tall in damp banks. It is an herbaceous perennial. The flowers are pollinated by bees and butterflies. It has been used as a herb to treat diarrhoea and dysentry.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Heliotropium europaeum

Heliotropium europaeum European Heliotrope


This common plant is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, and has now naturalised in North America and Australia. It grows fro 10~40cms tall and flowers from June to November. The leaves are oval and hairy. The plant is poisonous as are several common weeds.