Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Polygonum persicaria

 Polygonum persicaria Cockscomb

Hierba pejiguera

This plant is very common in humid, damp areas and is native to Europe and Asia. It can grow as tall as 80cms and flowers from July to November. It's leaves contain tannins and are effective against diarrhoea. The leaves can also be used in salads, as well as applying to the skin for sores and skin ulcers. They contain a yellow dye when infused.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Limbarda crithmoides

Limbarda crithmoides Golden samphire


This plant was originally called Inula crithmoides and is a coastal, perennial, plant found on salt marshes or sea cliffs and can grow to a metre in height. The flowers are self-pollinating and the young leaves, rich in iodine, can be used as a vegetable. They can be eaten raw or cooked. It flowers from May to December. It is native to western and southern Europe, and the Mediterranean.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Rumex crispus

Rumex crispus Curly dock

I think I have identified this correctly, but I am not 100% certain. This pretty dock is native to Europe and west Asia, though it has now naturalised on other continents and classed as a pest. The curly leaves contain oxalic acid and have been used as a green vegetable, but have to be boiled many times to dilute the oxalic acid, which may cause kidney stones. The leaves are used on the skin to relieve irritation and rashes. The leaves also contain Vitamins A and C.

Rumex pulcher

Rumex pulcher Fiddle dock


This dock is native to Eurasia and north Africa and can grow to an height of 70cms.  It is a perennial and has alternate leaves, shaped a little like a violin, hence the common name of "fiddle". The flowers are found in cluster with toothed edges.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Orobanche ramosa

Orobanche ramosa Hemp broomrape

This parasitic broomrape can be a pest on a vegetable plot or in agricultural fields. It is native to central and SW Europe and grow from 10 to 35cms tall. It is found among several cultivated plants, eg tomatoes, peas, sunflowers, aubergines and peppers. It has a thick root from which several slender stems grow. Being parasitic it feeds off the nutrients of its host and lacks leaves and chlorophyll.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Hippocrepis rupestris

Hippocrepis rupestris Horseshoe vetch

This beautiful plant is found commonly in the Ronda mountains, and is native to southern Spain and NW Africa. I think I have identified it correctly, but someone may tell me I have it wrong. It flowers from March to May and grows to approx. 25cms in height. The seeds are shaped like an horseshoe, but I do not have photographs unfortunately. It is closely related to the Coronillas.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Mentha suaveolens

Mentha suaveolens Round leaved or Apple mint


It is native to southern and western Europe and can grow to an height of 80cms. It flowers from July until December and can be used in cooking. It prefers damp soils and is rare in northern Europe. In high doses it is toxic.

Mentha pulegium

 Mentha pulegium Pennyroyal

Mentha poleo

This common herb is native to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It flowers from July to October and can grow to an height of 40cms. Tea can be made from the dried leaves, but is toxic to the liver and the uterus but has been used for centuries. It should only be used in moderation. The essential oil of Pennyroyal is used in aromatherapy, but ingestion of the oil can cause death.