Nature Notes - The Mallorca Pages


Umbilicus rupestris   Umbilicus horizontalis

These two very common Navelwort species, together with Southern Polypody, dominate the flora of stone walls.  On the left is Rock Navelwort, Umbilicus rupestris, and on the right Horizontal Navelwort, Umbilicus horizontalis.  The former is the one which occurs in some parts of Britain.  Most of the time I could not tell them apart, as they had only leaves, so I don't know which was the commonest.  But a few could be identified by early flower-stems (LH pic) or the remains of last year's stems (RH pic).

Sedum sediforme, leaves   Sedum sediforme, previous year's spike
Individual spikes c 3 cm long
  Saxifraga tridactylites
Flower c 6 mm across

Also recognisable via this year's leaves (left) and last year's spikes (centre) was the Pale Stonecrop, Sedum sediforme.  It too was common on walls.  On the right is Mallorca's only saxifrage, the Rue-leaved Saxifrage, Saxifraga tridactylites, which also occurs in Britain.  A very low annual, it was dotted along the edges of tracks through the woods.

Sanguisorba minor
Rosette c 40 cm across
  Crataegus monogyna ssp brevispina

Plants of the Rose family were very few and far between, compared to their taxonomic neighbours the Pea family, whereas in Britain we tend to think of the two as equally numerous.  In fact, apart from a few Rosa species whose exact number is debatable, Mallorca only has 14 members of the Rose family, of which I was able to find and identify 2.  The first is Salad Burnet, Sanguisorba minor, growing as a garden path weed.  This species is common in much of Britain, but as it's not found in Skye I took the opportunity to get its photo.  The other is the local subspecies of Hawthorn, which provides the Mallorcans with May in March.  It is Crataegus monogyna ssp brevispina.  The British kind is ssp nordica.


Osyria alba
Picture c 16 cm high
  Osyris alba
Lower flower c 4.5 mm across at widest

This is the parasitic shrub Osyris alba, an occasional member of the woodland understory.

Apr-May 2005 Rosiflorae