This year has been very odd for all of us due to the Covid-19 illness as we all know. Up until March 14th 2020 we were allowed to wander freely in the mountains searching for flowers. We found many Giant orchids, Himantoglossum robertianum, and a few Ophrys fusca and Orchis olbiensis, the local Early Purple orchids. January and February were extremely dry, warm and sunny but even so there were not many other orchids visible in the Serranía de Ronda.
Due to infections rising rapidly in Spain we were put into extreme measures of a strict lockdown for 9 weeks. We were permitted to walk our dogs, so we were fortunate enough to have two, and the orchids along our lane were extremely abundant, never have we seen so many in such great numbers here. We had been fortunate enough to see the Juno planifolia, Broad-leaved Iris start flowering very early last November and before the lockdown we saw many different Narcissi, including the endemic N. cerrolazae. There were hundreds of the Yellow Bee orchid, Ophrys lutea along our permitted walking area. O.fusca, Sombre Bee orchid, O. scolopax ssp. picta, the Woodcock orchid, Ophrys tenthredinifera, Sawfly orchid and the Serapias, Tongue orchids appeared where never seen before, but not in great numbers.
The sages, Phlomis purpurea, Star of Bethlehem, Ornithogalum, Mallow leaved convolvulus joined the hundreds of yellow Euphorbias flowering within a short distance of the house. The thug, but beautiful Milk thistle, Silybum marianum are becoming a bit of a problem by blowing their seeds into our garden.
We have missed so much this year, flower wise, for example the beautiful flambouyant wild Peonies, Paeonia broteroi and P. coricacea but we do have many photographs from other years. I have been keeping myself busy by going through my archives finding groups of flowers and posting them on Facebook, cheering myself up and others by all accounts.
We are now able to roam freely in the mountains, but we will never know what we missed, still, what must be must be.
Article: Brenda Jones ABS Member – For more on Wildflowers of Andalucía
Photos: Peter Jones ABS Member
Note: The views expressed in articles are those of the authors, and are not necessarily those of the Society.