Nature Notes - The Mallorca Pages

This section contains photos that I took on holiday in Mallorca between 18-29 March 2004.  Although there was considerable plant development during that period - for instance Honeysuckle not in flower at the start but with plentiful flowers by the end - there seems little point in putting the pictures in date order like the rest of the diary, when the dates are so close together.  Instead I've arranged them in taxonomic order.

I went to Mallorca armed with Elspeth Beckett's "Illustrated Flora of Mallorca" and also "Mediterranean Wild Flowers" by Blamey and Grey-Wilson.  The latter is not a comprehensive flora and I've found it of little use in Spain on its own, but it makes an excellent back-up to any local flora you can obtain for any region of the Mediterranean.

The reason I chose Mallorca for my holiday was because of the existence of a comprehensive portable flora for the island.  I wanted to take photographs of plants that I could identify to species level.  For that you need a book that lists, illustrates and describes all the species that occur in the area you are visiting.  Mallorca is the only part of the Mediterranean region that I know of which has a comprehensive portable flora of this kind.  With Elspeth Beckett's book, and the other one as a back-up, I was able to identify perhaps 90% of all the species found in flower, and a considerable proportion of those which were not in flower.  Of course the fact that I could identify a plant to my satisfaction does not mean the identification is correct!  These web pages are not meant as an identification guide but simply as a personal collection of pictures, labelled as best I can.

It was fascinating to compare the Mallorcan flora with that of Skye and of Britain generally, and the text notes are written from the perspective of a British visitor to Mallorca who lives on Skye.  This will give a totally different emphasis to how a Mallorcan would write it, but I think it is of interest to view the flora of one place through the eyes of someone from another place.  Many of the Mallorcan species which also occur in the south of England are as "exotic" to me as those that don't occur in Britain at all, so the text notes will read oddly to someone in, say, Sussex, for whom the two categories are quite distinct.

The selection of plants is restricted, not only by the time of year, but by the fact that all the pictures were taken in the same part of the island.  Most were within a few km of Es Verger, near Esporles, in the Tramuntana mountains, north of Palma.  Some were taken in a coastal area about 7 km north-west of Es Verger.  A wide variety of habitats was covered, but the island as a whole has a far greater variety of habitats still.  I hope to go back there soon, at a different time of year, and visit different parts of the island to collect photos of some of the species which I didn't find first time round.  Incidentally the house where I stayed is for sale, see Mallorca Property.

I didn't always bother to take pictures of plants which I knew I already had good pictures of from the UK, but these plants will be mentioned in the text where of interest.

Taxonomic groups:

Ferns and fern-allies
Gymnospermae to Caryophylliflorae
Rosales and Santalales
Euphorbiales and rest of Rosiflorae
Asteriflorae - Apocynales to Plantaginales
Asteriflorae - Scrophulariales to Dipsacales
Orchidaceae - all genera except Ophrys
Orchidaceae - Ophrys
Other Monocotyledons
Species other than vascular plants

These pages are dedicated to the memory of Nick Tracey-Williams, who did so much to help visitors appreciate the wildlife of Mallorca.