Saturday, 28 February 2015

Veronica persica

Veronica persica  Common speedwell

This lovely annual herb is known in many countries. It produces itself by seed. It grows from 1¬5cms tall and spreads about 25cms. It is one of the loveliest blue flowers I know. It flowers from January to June. It has been reclassified into the Antirrhinaceae family.

Ficus carica

Ficus carica Common fig


The fig is one of the earliest plants cultivated by man. It was native to the Middle East and West Asia, but is now naturalised over much of the temperate world.It is pollinated inside the fig by the fig wasp, Biastophaga psenes. The female burrows inside to pollinate the flower (which is inside the fig) and is released by the male wasp. In Spain there are usually two crops of figs, in July and then again smaller figs in September. In the UK it fruits every two years. The figs turn blue/purple when ripe. It is deciduous and grows from 2m to above 8 metres tall.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Halimium calycinum

Halimium calycinum Yellow sunrose


This little Sunrose is found in the SW Iberian peninsula and NW Morocco. It thrives on sheltered sandy, coastal soils and grows 40~60cms tall. This one was photographed in Coto Doñana. It flowers from February to July.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Oxalis pes~caprae

Oxalis pes~caprae Bermuda buttercup


This glorious plant has become an invasive weed in many countries, as can be seen on the bank above. It contains Oxalic acid, which in small doses was used to treat tapeworm and other worm infestations. In large quantities it can be extremely toxic and fatal, as it is quoted that many sheep died from gorging on this plant in Australia. It grows from small bulbs which multiply each year, like many Oxalis.

It is a native of South Africa and flowers from December to May, and can grow to a height of 30cms. The petals can be used as a yellow dye.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Arctotheca calendula

Arctotheca calendula Cape marigold

This marigold is found on coastal cliffs and sand dunes, and can be an invasive pest. It grows from 10~30cms tall and flowers from February to June.
It is native to Cape Province, South Africa, and has found its way to north Africa and SW Spain.

Limoniastrum monopetalum

Limoniastrum monopetalum 


This hermaphraditic shrub is found near salt water lagoons, also rocky areas and sandy loam.
It grows from 30cms to 2m tall and loves salty air and drought. It flowers from February to July. It is native to SW Spain, in the bay of Cadiz, North Africa to Egypt. I found it for the first time at Las Salinas, Bonanza, Cadiz province.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Ranunculus peltatus

Ranunculus peltatus Water's crowfoot

Hierba lagunera

This pretty buttercup is found in Europe, SW Asia, and North Africa. It grows from 1~8cm tall and spreads in  a pond. It flowers from January to June.

Cakile maritima

Cakile maritima European searocket

Oruga maritima

This little plant is found on beaches in many countries: the Mediterranean, Atlantic Ocean from Morocco to Finland, America and Australia. It grows from 7~40cms tall and can be in flower all year round. The seed pods can be seen easily on the first photograph.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Fedia cornucopiae

Fedia cornucopiae  Fedia

This lovely plant is native to the southern Iberian peninsula, and north west Africa. It covers fields, pastures and olive groves from February to May. It is quite small and its maximum height is 30cms. It can be mistaken for clover from a distance.

Scabiosa simplex

Scabiosa simplex Scabious

Scabiosa simplex or Lomelosia simplex

Scabiosa simplex or Lomelosia simplex

This annual is native to the Iberian peninsula and North Africa. It covers fields and pastures from May to July, and can grow from 10 to 30cms tall.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Paeonia coriacea

Paeonia coriacea Paeony

Rosa maldita (which means Damn Rose!)

This beautiful plant flowers from April to June in rocky, calcareous soils, sometimes in shady woodland, other times in the open. It grows from 40~60cms tall and can be found at an altitude of 1,200~2,000m. It is native to the southern Iberian pennisula and the Rif and Atlas mountains of Morocco. The fruit is formed in two glabrous follicles as shown. It has pale, less bright green leaves and the stems are paler than Paeonia broteroi. I hope that I have identified it correctly.

Paeonia broteroi

Paeonia broteroi  Paeony


This beautiful plant is endemic to Spain and Portugal and flowers from April to June. It has red stems, which differ from Paeonia coriacea, and also it usually has 4 or 5 seed heads. It is found in shady forests of Oaks and grows from 40~70cms tall.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Malva sylvestris

Malva sylvestris Common mallow

Malva silvestre

This perennial shrub is found all over many continents. It flowers from April to September and can grow to 1 metre tall.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Centaurea castellaniodes ssp arundana

Centaurea castellaniodes ssp arundana

This Knapweed was photographed in Sierra de las Nieves in July. It has been identified by a Spanish botanist, but I cannot find out much about it. There are at least 25 different species of Centaurea in the area. This one is endemic to the mountains.