Warning: Declaration of C_DataMapper_Driver_Base::define($object_name, $context = false) should be compatible with C_Component::define($context = false) in /srv/www/u2190/wp-content/plugins/nextgen-gallery/products/photocrati_nextgen/modules/datamapper/class.datamapper_driver_base.php on line 741
Today at Mallorca Hiking we’re going to celebrate some of the wonderful wild flowers we see while out walking on this lovely island. A few days ago we gave you an abbreviated history of Mallorca and now our brief “botanical overview” takes a lighter tone and features lots of information on some of the wild flowers we find on Mallorca at this time of year.
We are currently enjoying some of the best spring weather for many years, and the flowers in bloom throughout Mallorca are looking quite stunning in the warmth and vibrant sunshine. In the residential and resort areas, beautifully manicured gardens and communal areas have burst into a colourful array of blooming spring flowers – but away from the city centres, there is an equally colourful and very delightful display of Wild flowers of Mallorca.
There are literally hundreds of varieties of wild flowers in the Mediterranean region – many native to the area and lots also introduced by the many visitors to the islands. Today we’re going to show you six of our favourite wild flowers that we see in the countryside of Mallorca in April. Look out for them and see if you can find any on your next walk or hike…
The first of our wild flowers today is the Asphodel a common name for hardy herbaceous perennials with numerous species in the Mediterranean region. They are hardy with narrow leaves and an elongated stem bearing a handsome spike of white, pink, or yellow flowers growing from 45 to 60 cm in height. They are prolific here and often form stunning displays on dry and otherwise scrubby land.
Next up is the Common Mallow (- Malva sylvestris). This is a species of the Mallow genus Malva in the family of Malvaceae. Known as common mallow to English speaking Europeans, it acquired the common names of cheeses, high mallow and tall mallow as it migrated from its native home in Western Europe, North Africa and Asia through the English speaking world. A vigorously healthy and very handsome plant, it has showy flowers of bright mauve-purple, with dark veins. It often stands 1 m high and grows freely and rampantly in meadows and hedgerows.
Our next wild bloom today is the Narrow-leaved Cistus of the Rockrose or Cistaceae family. There are many different types of Cistus growing on Mallorca and this one is a dense shrub of about one meter high, which grows ventrally. All the old branches are completely bare and dark red or brown, while the new ones have rough and dense hair. Its leaves are simple, lanceolate in shape and stalk-less. The flowers have five petals and groups of three to 10 flowers form dense, wavy clusters. All the species that belong to the Cistus family are aromatic and excrete oils or resin, which have a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient.
Our next beauty is another aromatic delight – the White Mignonette is a genus of fragrant herbaceous plants native to the Mediterranean region. The species include annuals, biannials and perennials, and grow to between 40-130 cm tall. The leaves form a basal rosette at ground level, and then spirally arranged up the stem, they can be entire, toothed or pinnate, and range from 1-15 cm long. The flowers are produced in a slender spike, each one being small (4-6 mm diameter), white, yellow, orange, or green, with four to six petals. They are very showy and we often find them in hedgerows and meadows.
Our fifth contestant today is wild by name and wild by nature – the Wild Gladioli is one of our absolute favourites and we usually find it growing in low scrub and in very dry stony conditions – its preferred habitat. This is a continental European version of the very rare plant which grows amongst bracken and scrub in the much damper New Forest in the U.K. The small bulbs produce a grey green grass-like foliage that can be overlooked but, from April to July we get a stunning fuschia-pink flowering stem up to 70 cm high appears with between 3 and 8 flowers per stem. Look out for them – they’re a real treat!
Our last native bloom is Mallorca’s uncultivated beauty – the Wild Orchid. On the Balearic Islands alone, there are 60 different orchid species growing wild! They are bright pink-coloured, white, violet, blue-violet, reddish-brown or yellowish brown…. Sometimes they’re all one colour, and others are multicoloured or marbled, and all of them are legally protected. These fabulous delicate plants deserve special attention but you need to look out for them – they are easily overlooked, as some have tiny flower heads, which hide amongst the grasses. It is absolutely forbidden to pick them or dig them up. However, photographs are allowed and we’d love to see some samples of orchids that you find along the way.
Here at Mallorca Hiking we have some very knowledgable contacts who are familiar with the flora and fauna of the island – so anything you can’t identify, please send us a photo and we’ll do our very best to help….
Remember – don’t pick – just click – and send us your photos!!