Thursday, 21 November 2013

Castanea sativa

Castanea sativa  Chestnut trees

The trees can grow to 35 metres  high but they are much smaller in the Genal valley, due to harvesting of the chestnuts. They have been here for hundreds of years and are probably native to the area. They flower in the spring and the chestnuts are harvested in November.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Aeonium arboreum

Aeonium arboreum

This cultivated plant sometimes escapes into the wild and flowers from December to April. It was originally native to Morocco, but has naturalised in Gibraltar. It grows from 40-80cms tall. This one was photographed in Almeria.

Sedum acre

Sedum acre

This beautiful yellow Sedum is native to Europe, NW Africa and W Asia. It grows from 3-10cms tall and flowers from May to July in calcareous rocks above 600 metres.

Sedum album

Sedum album

Uva de gato
This common Sedum is native to Europe, NW Africa and SW Asia. It flowers from May to July and grows from 10-25cms.

Sedum hirsutum ssp baeticum

Sedum hirsutum ssp baeticum

This pretty Sedum is native to the Mediterranean and NW Africa. It grows from 5-15cms and flowers from June to August.

Sedum mucizonia

Sedum mucizonia

This tiny Sedum flowers from May to July and grows from 5-15cms tall. It is native to southern Portugal and Spain, and NW Africa.

Sedum sediforme

Sedum sediforme

Uña de gato
This Sedum flowers from June to August and grows from 10-40cms. It is native to the Mediterranean and France. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Typha domingensis

Typha domingensis Bulrush

This Bulrush or Southern cattail is native to temperate or tropical climes. It grows up to 2 metres tall and it used to be used to treat wounds, such as burns. It flowers from July to November.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Ceratonia siliqua

Ceratonia siliqua Carob tree

This tree can grow to a height of 15 metres and flowers in November and December. It is native to the Mediterranean and north Africa. The dried seed pods are edible for animals and humans. They can be crushed into a powder and used in baking. It is a substitute for chocolate.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Xanthium strumarium ssp cavanilliesii

Xanthium strumarium ssp cavanilliesii  Italian cocklebur

This plant now grows all over the world and is another plant whose burrs will attach themselves to animals or humans. It can grow to a height of 150cms and originated in south America.

Xanthium spinosum

Xanthium spinosum Spiny cocklebur

This lethal plant with its burrs will stick to anything. The burrs are hooked so will attach themselves to humans, animals and float on water. It is a noxious weed worldwide and flowers and seeds from July to  October. It grows from 20-50cms tall.

Datura stramonium

Datura stramonium Thorn apple

This plant was native to north America but is now found all over the world. It flowers from July to October and grows from 25-150cms. It has been used for centuries to relieve asthma and is also an analgesic. It is also a powerful hallucinogen which can last for days!

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Autumn colours

 Rhus coriaria Elm-leaved sumach
Poplar trees in their autumn colours

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Helianthemum syriacum

Helianthemum syriacum

Hierba sana
This lovely Rock rose is a native of the Mediterranean, though absent from Portugal. It flowers from March to June and grows to 50cms tall. This photograph was taken in Almeria province.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Petrorhagia velutina

Petrorhagia velutina Chiding pink

This plant grows on grass-like stems 10-40cms tall, and flowers from April to June. It is present in the Mediterranean, north Africa, Australia and South Africa.

Vaccaria hispanica

Vaccaria hispanica Cow basil

This plant is native to Eurasia and its seeds are used in Chinese medicine, for diuresis and activate blood circulation among other things. It flowers from April to July and grows from 15-40cms tall.

An almost white form of Vaccaria hispanica

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Cerastium gibraltaricum ssp gibraltaricum

Cerastium gibraltaricum ssp gibraltaricum Snow in summer

Cerastio de Granada
This plant grows from 20-40cms and is native to the mountains of SW Spain and Morocco. It flowers from April to July.

Autumn shadows in an Olive grove

Autumn shadows in an Olive grove

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sinapsis alba ssp alba

Sinapsis alba ssp alba White mustard

Mostaza blanca
Another mustard flowering in orchards and verges from March to June. It is now grown worldwide for its mustard seeds, but it is thought that it originated in the Mediterranean. It grows from 20-60cms.

Biscutella auriculata

Biscutella auriculata Wild mustard

This plant covers orchards and olive groves in a pale lemon from April to June. It is native to southern Europe and north Africa. It grows from 30-50cms tall.

Lonicera implexa

Lonicera implexa Honeysuckle

This Honeysuckle is native to southern Europe and scrambles among trees and shrubs.