Road side verges are full of colour and cereal fields can turn red with poppies or yellow with false fennel during late May and into June. As the weeks progress spring blooms will be turning to seed and the golden browns of summer will begin to dominate the lower landscapes. Howeve,r the later flowering of the mountainous plants means that there is still plenty to discover in what is known as the ‘hedgehog zone’. Here are a few of the June flowers in the Sierra de Grazalema to look out for.
Purple Milk Thistle (Galactites tomentosa)
The flowers are generally around 3 cm in width, lilac to purple in colour or occasionally white. The stems and flower buds appear white as they are covered in fine hairs. The leaves are narrow and spiny, with white markings. They can grow to around 80 cm in height. Found on uncultivated or barren ground, well-drained soils, pastures and roadsides. Distribution: SW and S of Europe, NW Africa.
Spanish Oyster Thistle (Scolymus hispanicus)
This is a robust, branched thistle which is usually wider at the base and can grow more than a metre tall. The yellow flowers are around 2–3 cm diameter. The new basal leaves are collected when in season as a wild vegetable. They are often cooked with scrambled eggs or with chickpeas in a stew and are locally called “Tagarninas”.
Distribution: Mediterranean area.
Campanula (Campanula specularioides)
This delicate looking annual campanula forms small mats of leaves, topped by purple flowers with a white centre and dark purple veining. It can be found in limestone rock crevices and in built walls. Although it can grow profusely around the village of Grazalema, it is very localised. (Also known as Campanula lusitanica subsp. Specularioides) Distribution: Sierra de Grazalema and Serranía de Ronda.
Pale Stonecrop (Sedum sediforme)
This is a perennial, evergreen plant which can grow in the most inhospitable areas, including baking hot clay roof tiles. They store moisture in the small plump leaves which are a bronze / green in colour. It can reach a height of around 50cm when in flower. Each upright stem is topped by a radial spray of small yellow flowers of 5 petals. Can be seen in arid rocky areas, rock crevices, in dry-stone walls and rooftops.
Distribution: Mediterranean area.
Putoria (Putoria calabrica)
This is a low growing, spreading evergreen, which is woody at the base and forms a dense mat. During the summer it is covered in tight clusters of delicate, pink tubular flowers, which are very popular with butterflies and bees. The flowers are followed by red berries, and they can occasionally be seen bearing both. Found on vertical limestone cliffs, rocky areas and slopes. Distribution: Mediterranean area.
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
An elegant orchid smothered in pink flowers which are densely arranged in a cone shape on the flowering scape. May reach 30cm in height and can be seen in meadows and rocky exposed slopes. Unlike the bee-orchid group, these are pollinated by butterflies and moths. Distribution: Central and Southern Europe, Mediterranean region.
Nature Plus – Grazalema
Your local guide at Nature Plus – Grazalema is Sue Eatock. Originally from the UK, she has lived in Grazalema since 2005 and specializes in the wild plants and animals of the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park’.
Below is a list of a few more June flowers in the Sierra de Grazalema.
Retama (Lygos sphaerocarpa)
Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre)
Squirting Cucumber (Ecballium elaterium)
Star Hawkbit (Rhagadiolus stellatus)
Rabbit’s Bread (Andryala integrifolia)
Prickly Lettuce (Lactuca serriola)
Chondrillia (Chondrilla juncea)
Bladder Vetch (Anthyllis tetraphylla)
St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
Yellow Bartsia (Parentucellia viscose)
Great Mullein (Verbascum giganteum)
False fennel (Ridolfia segetum)
Red and orange
Field Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
Long-headed Poppy (Papaver dubium)
Prickly Poppy (Papaver argemone)
Rough headed poppy (Papaver hybridum)
Grazalema Poppy (Papaver rupifragum)
Oregano (Origanum vulgare subsp. virens)
White stonecrop (Sedum album)
Sedum hirsutum subsp. baeticum
Wild Carrot (Daucus carota)
White Flax (Linum suffruticosum)
Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris)
Black nightshade (Solanum nigrum)
Elderflower (Sambucus nigra)
Mediterranean Daphne (Daphne gnidium)
Clematis (Clematis vitalba)
Hedge parsley (Torilis arvensis)
Bear’s-breeches (Acanthus mollis)
Evergreen Rose (Rosa sempervirens)
Silver sage (Salvia argentea)
Fragrant virgin’s bower (Clematis flammula)
Traveller’s Joy (Clematis vitalba)
Purples blues and pinks
Oleander (Nerium oleander)
Barrelier’s Sage (Salvia barrelieri)
Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro)
Sheep’s bit scabious (Jasione Montana)
Purple Rush Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
False grass-poly (Lythrum junceum)
Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum Villosum)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Blue Aphyllanthes (Aphyllanthes monspeliensis)
Putoria (Putoria calabrica)
Spanish love-in-a-mist (Nigella papillosa subsp. papillosa)
Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena)
Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum)
Tree Honeysuckle (Lonicera arborea)
Pitch Trefoil (Bituminaria bituminosa)
Cottonball Clover (Trifolium tomentosum)
Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris)
Dog Figwort (Scrophularia canina)
Mediterranean lineseed (Bellardia trixago)
Blue lettuce (Lactuca tenerrima)
Staehelina (Staehelina dubia)
Cupid’s dart (Catananche caerulea)
Purple starthistle (Centaurea calcitrapa)
Hairy pink (Petrorhagia dubia)
Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea)
Wild Artichoke (Cynara humilis)
Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus)
Scabious (Lomelosia simplex)
Mournful Widow (Sixalix atropurpurea)
Stavesacre (Delphinium staphisagria)
Sand Spurrey (Spergularia purpurea)
Rampion bellflower (Campanula rapunculus)
Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)
Bug Orchid (Anacamptis (Orchis) coriophora)
Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata)
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra)
Tongue Orchid (Serapias lingua)
Small-flowered serapias (Serapias parviflora)
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