Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Echinops spinosissimus

Echinops spinosissimus Spiny Globe thistle

This Echinops was not found in Andalusia,  in fact it is native to eastern Europe, north Africa and SW to Asia. This one we found in the Atlas mountains of Morocco. It can grow to 2 ft (80cms) tall and spreads to 3ft. As it's name suggests it is very thorny and flowers late summer/autumn. I thought it was worth including on here.

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Linaria vulgaris

Linaria vulgaris Common Toadflax

This common plant is native to Europe, north Asia, west to China and east to Siberia. It has now been introduced to North America. It can grow to an height of 35ins (90mm) and flowers in the spring/summer, depending on it's habitat.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Legousia falcata

Legousia falcata 

This is a new plant for me, found in the Grazalema area in June. I can find very little information on it. It grows from 15-50cms tall and flowers from April to June. Apologies for the poor photograph of the leaves.

Saturday, 12 May 2018

Ricinus communis

Ricinus communis Castor oil plant


This attractive plant can grow as high as 5 metres tall. It was native to SE Mediterranean,  East Africa and India but has now naturalised in many warm climates. It had largish, glossy green leaves, often tinged red and flowers from April to September. It can cause severe allergies, especially Asthma and also allergic reactions to anyone allergic to Ricinus could develop skin rashes. The fruit, bean-like structures are highly poisonous and could cause death in large quantities. Castor oil is a lubricant for motors.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Parentucellia latifolius

Parentucellia latifolius  Red Bartsia


This small plant is native to Europe, but has now been introduced to other continents. It flowers from April to June and can grow from 5-20cms tall. The leaves are very hairy. I can't fins any references to it being a parasitic plant.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Cydonia oblonga

Cydonia oblonga  Quince


This 2-4 metre tall shrub originated in SW Asia, Turkey and north Iran to Afghanistan, but is now naturalised in Spain.  The large Quince fruits are very popular in cooking, making jams, and lots of other different foodstuffs including desserts. It is cultivated in many countries. It flowers from March to May. It is hardy and drought tolerant but needs hot summers to ripen the fruit.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Linaria viscosa

Linaria viscosa Toadflax

This pretty Toadflax is endemic to the SW of Spain. It was found at El Rocio, Huelva province, on 2.4.2018. It can grow to an height of 60cms and prefers sandy, dry soil. It flowers from April to June. There is some discussion going on about this Linaria, so I can't be 100% sure it is the correct name.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Ornithopus sativus ssp isthmorcarpus

Ornithopus sativus ssp isthmorcarpus Common Bird's foot

This pretty little plant spreads from 10-60cms along the ground on sandy soil. It is native to southern Iberia and north Africa. It flowers from March to April. Photographed at El Rocio, province of Huelva, Doñana.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Corrigiola litoralis

Corrigiola litoralis Strapwort

A new species for me found in El Rocio, Coto de Doñana, and it is native to Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa. It has been introduced to Australia and north America. This delicate little plant spreads from 10-30cm and flowers from March to June, on the edges of water.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Ruta angustifolia

Ruta angustifolia Narrow-leaved Rue


I believe I am correct in the identification. This sub-shrub can grow from 20-80cms tall and is native to the Mediterranean and SW Asia. It can be used as an insect repellent and anti-spasmodic. It must not be applied to the skin during sunlight hours as the oils may cause blistering. if used medicinally.  The leaves have a grey-blue tinge and it flowers from April to July.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Tuberaria macrosepala

Tuberaria macrosepala Annual Sunrose

I had mistakenly thought that this was another species of Tuberaria and did not take any macro photos. It is native to SW Iberia and north Africa and flowers from April to June. The photograph was taken at Doñana Parque Natural. It thrives on sandy, acid soils and grows to an height of 5-35cms. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Mercurialis annua

Mercurialis annua Annual Mercury

This annual herb grows from 10-70cm tall and is found in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East but is now found on several continents due to introduction. It has a difficult sexuality and is popular for sientific study. The male flowers are spiked in a cluster from the leaf axils and the female flowers are at the base of the leaf axils. It flowers from March to May, The fruit is a bristly capsule.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Anthemis arvensis

Anthemis arvensis Corn or Scentless Chamomile

Manzanilla silvestre

I believe that I have identified this correctly, please correct me if I am wrong. It starts flowering in southern Spain in January and is present in the whole of Europe, North Africa and west Asia. It grows to an height of 10-30cms. and is an annual plant reseeding itself every year.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

A friend suggested that I update my blog by posting photographs of what is actually in flower at the time on my visits to Spain. At the moment we are experiencing a cold spell with snow on the mountains above 700m. I believe that for the past three weeks it has been very sunny and mild but now there has been a few rainy days to start filling the much depleted reservoirs. There is actually some lush green grass in places too with olive groves completely yellow with carpets of the Field marigold. The drought was becoming very serious but in this part of Spain things are beginning to improve slightly. In flower at the moment are the lovely deep blue Iris planifolia, Broad leaved Iris and the Field marigold Calendula arvensis. We are hoping to go looking for Narcissus papyraceus, Paperwhite Narcissus and Himantoglossum  robertianum, Giant orchid one day soon.