Sunday, 12 February 2017

Rubia arvensis

Rubia arvensis Blue woodruff

Rubiadera azul

This blue plant is native to southern Europe, North Africa and SA Asia. It flowers from April to June and can grow to an height of 10-40cms. It is found on cultivated ground and in clearing near to woodland.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Oxalis corniculata

Oxalis corniculata Creeping woodsorrel


This common plant is worldwide and it's origins are unknown. It can be invasive. The leaves are edible and taste of lemons. The whole plant is rich in Vitamin C but must be taken sparingly as a drink. The seeds are explosive, hence it's invasive properties.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Lotus ornithopodioides

Lotus ornithopodioides Common Birdsfoot trefoil


This common plant is native to the Mediterranean and is found on dry pastures, flowering from March to June. It can grow from 10-40cms tall. The position of the flowers are thought to resemble a bird's claw. I hope that I have id'd this correctly.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Stachys arvensis

Stachys arvensis Field woundwort

Hierba de gato

This flower is common over much of Europe and eastwards to Taiwan. It flowers from April to June and can grow to an height of 45cms. It prefers dampish, acid and sandy soils.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Silene colorata

Silene colorata

This beautiful plant can be found in small groups or in large swathes in orchards, verges or fields. It is native to the Mediterranean and can grow to an height of 40cms. It flowers any time from January to June. It is unusual to find a white form. The stem has fine, silky hairs. It produces tiny brown seeds.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Malva cretica ssp. althaeoides

Malva cretica ssp. althaeoides Mallow


This delicate Mallow grows from 10-40cms tall and is native to the SW Mediterranean. It likes a dry and sunny spot and flowers from April to June.

Friday, 27 January 2017

Narcissus assoanus ssp assoanus

Narcissus assoanus ssp assoanus Rush leaved Jonquil


This tiny Narcissus was found at Sierra de las Nieves 1.4.2016. Thank you to Fernando Ureña Plaza for the identification.  It can grow up to an height of 15cms (6ins) and flowers in March and April.  It is found in rocks or pastures in NW Mediterranean. You can see it's size by the euro in the bottom photograph.

Friday, 28 October 2016

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.