Nature Notes - The Mallorca Pages

Gymnospermae to Caryophylliflorae

Pinus halepensis
  Pinus halepensis
 Upper flower cluster c 2.8 cm high
  Pinus halepensis
Cone c 6.1 cm long

The dominant tree over much of the area where I stayed was the Aleppo Pine, Pinus halepensis.  The high ground was clothed with it everywhere you looked, as in the first picture, and there were also forests of it at lower altitudes, down to sea level.

Quercus ilex s.l.
Left-centre leaf c 3.3 cm long
  Quercus ilex s.l.
Right-centre leaf c 2.4 cm long
  Quercus ilex s.l.
Acorn c 3.7 cm long

The other very common tree was the Holm Oak, Quercus ilex, which formed extensive woods.  The first picture shows the characteristic fissured bark.  The lower leaves are often more spiny than the upper ones, as with Holly.

Urtica dubia   Limonium sp

Urtica dubia was the common nettle of the area, growing on bare ground beside walls or alongside paths.  The upper catkins are male and the lower female, unlike our Stinging Nettle which has them on separate plants.  On the red sandy sea-cliffs is one of the many Mallorcan species of Sea-lavender, Limonium sp, which it takes an expert to tell apart.  If you don't do Hawkweeds in Britain, then don't do Sea-lavenders in Mallorca!  Most of them flower in autumn, on the green twiggy bits in the picture.

Clematis flammula   Clematis cirrhosa

There are 3 Clematis species in Mallorca.  One is C vitalba, familiar in Britain as Traveller's Joy, but this is rare in Mallorca and I didn't see it.  The other two are both common.  On the left is Fragrant Clematis, Clematis flammula, which flowers in mid-summer so only leaves were available.  The other is Virgin's Bower, Clematis cirrhosa, which flowers in mid-winter.  The picture shows the cloud of long white feathery styles which remains after the flowers fall.

Arenaria serpyllifolia agg
Corolla c 3 mm x 4 mm
  Moehringia pentandra
Flower c 3.7 mm across at widest

Two small plants of the Chickweed family are Thyme-leaved Sandwort, Arenaria serpyllifolia agg (this is probably subsp leptoclados), which has the petals much shorter than the sepals, and Moehringia pentandra, which has no petals at all.  These grow on the forest floor or at the foot of walls on the shady side.  Sticky Mouse-ear, Cerastium glomeratum, was also met with a few times but as it's common on Skye I didn't bother with a photo.

Apr-May 2005 all fams on this page ex Caryo     Apr-May 2005 Caryophylliflorae