Saturday, 28 March 2015

Ophrys fusca ssp bilunulata

Ophrys fusca ssp bilunulata  Sombre bee orchid

We found this Ophrys fusca yesterday, 27.3.2015 and it has been confirmed as a subspecies by a botanist from Granada. It was about 15cms tall and growing in the mountains. It is native to west Mediterranean and grows from 10~40cms tall. It is found in thickets, pastures and forest clearings. This one was found on a verge by a road.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Mirabilis jalapa

Mirabilis jalapa Four o'clock plant

Don Diego

This pretty plant, native to South America, has naturalised in lots of tropical and temperate areas, as it has here in places. Once you have it, the roots will become enormous and it is difficult to eradicate. Some plants have different coloured blooms on the same stem. They do not flower until late afternoon, hence the name, and are highly perfumed. They are pollinated by long tongued moths. It is often mistaken for the Tobacco plant, Nicotiana which is an annual. This is a perennial plant.

Stellaria media

Stellaria media Common chickweed


This very common chickweed is present all over Europe and north America. What I didn't know was that is is totally edible and nutritious especially when used raw in salads.In folklore it was used to treat itchy skin conditions and respiratory diseases. It can be used as a poultice for cuts and burns. It grows from 2cms to 15cms tall. It does contain SAPONINS which in great quantity (many kilos) can be toxic. Not to be eaten during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Papaver pinnatifidium

Papaver pinnatifidium


This poppy flowers from February to June and is found around the Mediterranean basin.

Fumaria capreolata

Fumaria capreolata Ramping fumitory


This glorious little fumitory is native to Europe, W Asia and north Africa. It flowers from January to June and can spread from 20cms to 1 metre.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Fumaria officinalis

Fumaria officinalis Fumitory


This little fumitory is common all over Europe, the Mediterranean, and possibly in many countries. It flowers from February to June and can grow to a height of 60cms.

Platycapnos spicata

Platycapnos spicata Spiked fumitory

Palomitas espigadas

This colourful little plant is native to the Iberian peninsula, and grows from 10~30cms tall. It can be found in flower from March to June.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Dactylorhiza insularis

Dactylorhiza insularis 

This beautiful orchid is native to the western Mediterranean and flowers from April to June. It grows from 15~40cms tall. It differs from D. sulphurea by it spurs which are shorter and wider.
It often grows in little colonies.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Anacamptis collina or O. saccata

Anacamptis collina or O. saccata Fan lipped orchid

Orquidea pobre

Flowers from  January~April and is a native of the Mediterranean basin. It grows from 10 to 30cms tall. It has been renamed Anacamptis collina by some sources.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Ophrys fusca

Ophrys fusca Sombre bee orchid

This Orchid is widespread in the Mediterranean, from Portugal to Turkey. It flowers from February to April, and can often be missed as it hides away sometimes, under oak trees and in among bushes. It is usually from 15~30cms tall. This one has unusual markings, but the O. fuscas do vary considerably. Photographed 16.3.2015 Montejaque. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Narcissus cerrolazae

Narcissus cerrolazae Montecorto narcissus

This wonderful daffodil is native to specific areas in Andalucia .This species flowers from February to April and grows from 20~40cms tall. It is often confused with Narcissus jonquilla ssp fernandesii, which is NOT present in this area.  It has rush like leaves and prefers a damp soil, often found near streams. I have had to correct this as it isn't a jonquil. I KNEW that someone would correct me. Narcissi are changing names all the time here, and I am finding it all very confusing. This is definitely N. cerrolazae. I found some flowering today. 15.1.2016

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Narcissus cuatrecasasii/arundanus

Narcissus cuatrecasasii/arundanus Rush leaf jonquil

Narciso amarillo

This tiny, delicate Narcissus only grows to a maximum of 15cms tall. The plants I saw today were much smaller. It is a native of Spain and southern France. If you are lucky enough to get close to it, it has a delicate perfume. It flowers from February to April in rocky sheltered areas.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Prunus dulcis

Prunus dulcis Almond tree


The last photograph may be a subspecies as the flowers are much pinker than most of the almond trees. It is a native of the Mediterranean of the Middle East and Asia. It has naturalised in many temperature countries and widely cultivated worldwide. The wild almond is very bitter and contains cyanide in the fruit. It is not understood how our ancestors decided which almond tree to cultivate, perhaps by getting people to eat lots of almonds and watching for which dropped dead! The actual almond is a drupe, with an outer hull and inner hard shell, therefore not a true nut. The tree grows from 4 to 10m tall and flowers from December to May.
There is lots more information on the almond on

Ceterach officinarum

Ceterach officinarum Rustyback fern


Previously known as Asplenium ceterach this fern is native to west and central Europe, including the Mediterranean. It is found in alkaline rocky places up to an altitude of 2,700m and likes full sun. It was used medicinally as a diuretic.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Reseda phyteuma

Reseda phyteuma Corn mignonette


This mignonette grows from 10¬50cms tall and is native to central and southern Europe, west Asia and north Africa. It has naturalised in the UK. It has erect stems, branched at the base and the leaves are entire.

Reseda alba

Reseda alba White mignonette


Not the best of photos, which I will have to improve on this year. This mignonette can grow up to a metre tall and is native to Europe, Asia and north Africa. The leaves are deeply divided with narrow lobes.
There are many species of Reseda in Spain, but difficult to differentiate between. The leaves are very important for identification. This flower is white, but some are very creamy.