Thursday, 2 May 2013

In The Pink

Today, just a few last pictures from our jaunt around Santa Ponsa and these all have a 'pink' theme.  As I mentioned the other day, there were some lovely walks to be had around the area and the Spring flowers were very good too.  In the woodland of the Puig de Sa Morisca, we found several, starting with that most ubiquitous of Mediterranean plants, the Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus).
With petals which resemble crumpled tissue paper, and also rather wrinkled, greyish leaves, these small shrubs are common throughout the region and at this time of year make a wonderful show, particularly under the shady pines.
Another well known and abundant flower to be found in the Med' is the thistle-like Galactites (Galactites tomentosa), sometimes called Milk Thistle.  Here, the flowers were being attended to by a number of pollen beetles which seemed intent on their labours in amongst the flower petals
Yet another common flower and another with pinkish petals is the Field Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus).  Again, they were fairly abundant in the shade of the pine trees, but their bright little flowers, held on a stalk up to two feet high, made them a joy to find.
A much smaller flower next and one which goes by the common name of Virgin's Mantle or in Spanish, Manto de la Virgen (Fagonia cretica).  Found all over the Balearic Islands as well as the Alicante region of Mainland Spain, it is a plant which enjoys the arid conditions of a rocky coastline and seems to respond well to a tough habitat.
Lastly, a new 'tick' for me and one we were lucky to find as it was right at the end of it's flowering period.  The flowers of this pale form Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) were showing signs of coming to an end, but it was still a joy to find.  In some parts of the Mediterranean - particularly the Eastern end - the tuberous roots of this plant are dried and ground into a starchy flour called Salep and is used in drinks and deserts, but this one seemed safe enough.
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