Sunday, 21 September 2014
Thursday, 21 August 2014
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Dipsacus fullonum Common or Fuller's teasel
This thistle is native to Eurasia and North Africa but is now found worldwide. It is a herbaceous biennial and dies after seeding. The seeds are a great source of winter food for the European Goldfinch. It was used in the textile industry and useful for raising the nap on fabrics. It grows from 50cms to 2m tall and flowers (pale purple to white) from May to September.
Tuesday, 15 July 2014
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Ailanthus altissima Tree of Heaven
This large, deciduous tree, native to China and Taiwan grows rapidly. It can grow 15m in 25 years and can reach a height of 20 metres. It is not long lived and usually dies before 50 years but leaves behind many new trees produced by suckers. It has become a pest in many countries. It flowers in May and June. It has a foul smell and has become unpopular in gardens.
Ruta montana Mountain rue
Ruda de la montana
This Rue flowers from June to September and grows from 25 to 75cms tall. It is found in the south of the Iberian Pennisula, NW Africa and eastwards to Turkey. It is strongly aromatic but poisonous. Pregnant women have to take great care as the strong chemicals it contains can cause abortion. The sap can cause dermatitis and blistering of the skin. It is loved by some insects.
Wednesday, 25 June 2014
Unfortunately I missed this beauty in flower. It is native to southern Spain and north Africa, where it blooms from April to June. It can grow to 40cms tall and has deep pink to purple flowers. It grows on coastal and barren mountains, the latter was where it was found.
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Saponaria officinalis Common soapwort
This beautiful plant is native to Europe and west to Siberia, which makes it even more remarkable that I had never found it before! It can grow to a height of 1metre, and spread to 1m as this was. The leaves can be boiled to make a gentle soap. It flowers from June to August. It was a solitary plant as we could not find any others.
Monday, 16 June 2014
Serapias lingua Tongue orchid
This species of orchid is native to the Mediterranean area and flowers from March to June, usually on damp meadows. It is distinguished by other Serapias by a dark spot at the base of its throat, which I cannot demonstrate here unfortunately. It grows from a height of 15 to 50cms.
Genista triacanthos Broom
This small thorny shrub is found in the undergrowth of Cork and Gall Oaks and can grow to a height of 1 metre, though the specimens we saw were all about 30 to 40cms tall. The blooms are very small, and the leaves only 2 to 20mm long.It is native to the Iberian pennisula and NW Morocco. It flowers from April to June.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
Cytisus fontanesii ssp plumosus
This beautiful low growing broom has hairy leaves and can grow to a height 50cms, though these plants were much shorter as they were growing in Sierra de las Nieves. It grows on limestone and gypsum and flowers from April to June. It is a Ronda endemic, and is on the Red List of plants in danger of extinction.
Monday, 26 May 2014
Anacamptis or Orchis laxiflora Loose flowered orchid
This orchid flowers from April to June. This year I photographed it too late as it was going over. It is native to Europe and Asia. This orchid is native to most of Europe and Asia and is present as far north as Gotland in Sweden. It grows on damp meadows and usually is between 30~80cms tall.
Saturday, 1 February 2014
Sunday, 26 January 2014
Thursday, 23 January 2014
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.