Nature Notes - The Mallorca Pages

Asteriflorae - Apocynales to Plantaginales

Solanum nigrum
LH black fr c 6.5 mm wide
  Solanum luteum s.l.

Solanum species were frequent by roadsides, and many could not be identified but were probably S nigrum which seems to be very variable.  The one on the left is definitely S nigrum, or Black Nightshade, and the one on the right is Solanum luteum (in the sense of including S villosum and S alatum) or Hairy Nightshade; its fruits finally turn red rather than black.

Echium parviflorum
  Borago officinalis
Flower c 3 cm across at widest
  Borago officinalis

Two members of the Borage family next.  Small-flowered Bugloss, Echium parviflorum, was quite frequent at the foot of walls and similar places.  Borage itself I found once.  The flowers are nodding so you typically only see the back view as in the middle picture; the end picture shows a hand-held front view.

Lamium amplexicaule   Stachys ocymastrum
Central flower c 22 mm vertically

Surprisingly, I only found two labiates, a family which is particulary associated with the Mediterranean and which had seemed well represented on a previous visit to the Spanish mainland.  Both were annual weeds of bare ground.  The first is Henbit, Lamium amplexicaule, which also occurs in the UK, though not Skye, and the second is Stachys ocymastrum, a kind of Woundwort.

Plantago coronopus   Plantago lagopus
Flowerhead c 7.5 mm wide ex stamens

Plantains outnumbered Labiates, then, as I found at least 3 species.  Buckshorn Plantain, Plantago coronopus, was common on the shore as it is in Britain, and I only took this shot as insurance in case it was something else.  It shows the reddish sand typical of the shore in that area.  Plantago lagopus, right, is similar to the familiar Ribwort Plantain, P lanceolata, but has the inflorescence densely covered with long hairs.  It was found in grassland, and plants that appeared to be P lanceolata also occurred in similar habitat.

Plantago afra
Top flowerhead c 7 mm wide ex stamens
  Vinca difformis

Glandular Plantain or Plantago afra was occasional in cultivated ground or bare patches by roads.  Unlike the Plantains we know and love in this country, it has multiple heads and a leafy stem.  Finally, Intermediate Periwinkle or Vinca difformis was a common and vigorous shrub of walls and roadside banks.  The petals are cut more obliquely than in the Lesser Periwinkle which is commonly naturalised in Britain.