Friday, 24 January 2014

Plants

As promised, I will end these holiday reminiscences with a look at some of the plants we encountered.  I mentioned the almond blossom yesterday, but they were not the only flowers we saw.  By far the most common, were those of the highly invasive plant, Bermuda Buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae).  Indigenous to South Africa - despite the name - this yellow-flowered member of the Wood Sorrel family is taking over everything.
Small and easily overlooked, the strange flowers of the Friar's Cowl (Arisarum vulgare) belong to the Arum Lily family and are quite common in southern Europe.
Among the Bermuda Buttercups, a few plants were trying to get their heads above the suffocating tangle.  Small, purple-striped flowers topped these delicate plants. which turned out to be a rather rare form of Toadflax, known as Algarvian Toadflax (Linaria algarviana).  A nice new 'tick' for me.
Close to these little beauties we found an attractive member of the cabbage family, commonly called Rocket (Eruca vesicaria), these even, cross-shaped flowers give rise to their old scientific name for the family Cruciferae, meaning 'cross bearing'.
Leaving the subject of plants for a moment, another new 'tick' for my life list was a small Cricket found on a seaside plant.  It has taken some finding, but it turns out to be Odontura aspericauda.
So, the sun set on another nice break away - now it's back to wet England.
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