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.