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.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Prunella laciniata

Prunella laciniata Cutleaf selfheal

Prunella blanca

This pretty little plant is found in damp meadows and flowers from April to July. It grows from 10-30cms in height and is native to Europe and the Mediterranean as far west as Iran. It is hairy and has an erect stem. The name Prunella comes from the German word for "sore throat," and the plant was a natural remedy used in folklore for this affliction.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Trifolium arvense

 Trifolium arvense Hare's foot clover

This clover is native to most of Europe and west Asia. It flowers from April to July and can grow to an height of 35cms. It is usually found in dry, sandy soils. It benefits some soils as it contains nitrogen. It is also grazed by sheep and goats. It can be invasive at times.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Convolvulus lineatus

Convolvulus lineatus Narrow-leaved bindweed

This pretty bindweed is native to southern Europe, North Africa and west Asia. It grows from an height of 5cms to 20cms tall and is found up to an altitude of 1800m. It flowers from May to August. This was photographed late July at Puerto de las Palomas, Grazalema. 

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Salvia verbenaca

Salvia verbenaca Wild Clary, Wild Sage


This spring herb is native to the UK, Mediterranean, north Africa and the near East. It can be in flower virtually all year, but in the Mediterranean it is mostly spring. It grows from 20-80cms tall depending on moisture. The leaves can be used to flavour food, make sage tea and the flowers can be used in salads.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Genista hirsuta

Genista hirsuta 

This spiny gorse is native to the west of the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. It can grow to an height over 1 metre tall. It inhabits undergrowth of Cork and Holm oaks and flowers from March to June.

Acis trichophylla

Acis trichophylla Three leaved Snowflake

Syn: Leucojum trichophylla
Campanilla de primavera

This delicate, bulbous plant is native to SW of the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa. It flowers from February to April and can grow from 5-30cms tall.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Campanula lusitanica

Campanula lusitanica Lusitaniun bellflower

This lovely annual, with stems as delicate as grass grows to an height of 35cms. It is native to the west Mediterranean and flowers from April to August. It is present throughout the Iberian Peninsula, except the Pyrenees. The flowers can be between 1-3cms in diameter and a vibrant blue to purple.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Euphorbia tirucalli

 Euphorbia tirucalli Indian tree spurge

Árbol de los dedos

This toxic shrub is native to Africa and the Arabian peninsula. I found it growing in the stone desert near to Albaricoques Almería. It may have naturalised as it is a semi-arid plant from tropical regions. It produces latex which can be converted to gasoline. It is extremely toxic to the skin and mucosa. Deaths have occurred due to people swallowing the latex.

Suaeda vera

Suaeda vera Shrubby sea-blite


This unusual succulent type plant is native to the Mediterranean, and found on saline soils. It can be found on marshes and also coasts, even in rocks. It has tiny cream flowers from May to September. This was photographed in March, Cabo de Gata. It can grow from 40cms to over a metre tall.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Amni visnagna

Amni visnagna Bishop's weed

This plant flowers from June to September and can grow to an height of 80cms. It is native to Europe, Asia and North Africa. It was used in folklore medicine as a herb and several drugs have been found using this plant. It was used for renal colic, asthma and coronary disease amongst others.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Anthericum liliago

Anthericum liliago  St. Bernard's Lily

Lliri de Sant Bru

This lovely delicate flower can grow from 25-70cms tall and flowers from April to June. It is native to Europe and Turkey, It grows in dry stony pastures and also open woodland where this was found.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Veronica anagallis-aquatica

Veronica anagallis-aquatica Blue water Speedwell


This water speedwell can grow to an height of 1.2 metres tall and flowers from April to September. It likes running water or pools. This one was found in a shallow stream. It is present in all of Europe. It was very difficult to get a decent photograph due to the strong wind. The flowers are very tiny and delicate, 5-10mm in diameter.