“Barren.” That’s how I have heard Málaga described. But after I’d picked my jaw up I realised the speaker was looking at the fire-ravaged hills above Cómpeta. I’d walked in those hills in the springs that followed and saw valleys stuffed full with more flowers than the Chelsea flower show.
The flora here is wonderfully varied. As well as a challenging climate we have challenging topography – a rise of 2000+ metres within about 20Km, from beach to Sierra. Some mountain plants must adapt to freezing winters as well as baking summers. Most must adapt to drought, but there are springs that provide some lucky valleys with consistent water, so you can find water-loving plants here even in the midst of the heat if you know where to look.
The Med. is a young environment, still changing. A botanist once told me that 70% of flowering species are still hybridising, making accurate i.d.s hard. No guarantees for I.Ds, then, but my photos (click on them to get full screen) give an idea of what I see in this wonderful region.
|Arundo donax||Giant Cane aka Giant Reed||Flowers Aug-Dec||A stroll by the Cajula|
|Asphodel fistulosus||Hollow stemmed Asphodel||Flowers Feb-June||On waste ground|
|Bituminaria bituminosa a.k.a Psoralea bituminosa||Pitch Trefoil||Flowers Mar-Jul||The Painter's palette|
|Chamaerops humilis||Dwarf fan palm||Bugs, Frogs & Walkers|
|Crepis capillaris||Smooth Hawksbeard||Flowers Jan-Jul||On waste ground|
|Cynoglossum cheirifolium||Hound's Tongue||Flowers Feb-Jul||On waste ground|
|Erodium moschatum||Musk Storksbill||Flowers Feb-May||On waste ground|
|Lobularia maritima||Sweet Alison||Flowers Jan-Sept||A stroll by the Cajula|
|Ononis natrix||Yellow Restharrow||Flowers Apr-Jul|
|Ophrys scolopax||Woodcock Orchid||Flowers Feb-Apr||Having a laugh in any weather|
|Orchis mascula||Early Purple Orchid||Flowers Mar-Apr||Heroic Orchids|
|Oxalis Pes-caprae||"Mediterranean Buttercup"||Flowers Dec-May||Almonds and Oxalis|
|Pteridium aquilinum||Bracken||Bugs, Frogs & Walkers|
|Prunus dulcis||Almond trees||Flowers Dec-March||Almonds and Oxalis|
|Smyrnium olusatrum||Alexanders||Flowers Feb-June||On waste ground|
|Trachelium caeruleum||Blue Throatwort||Flowers Apr-Sept||Bugs, Frogs & Walkers|
|Vinca major||Large Blue Periwinkle||Flowers Feb-May|