The most diverse flora in Europe

The last few weeks in England have been rather wet and miserable, and so yesterday afternoon I decided I would cheer myself up with some of my Algarvian photographs. Not only did that work but the weather people must have noticed as the sun has come out today in the south of England, here’s hoping it will stay! Just in case it doesn’t though I thought I’d share some of the photographs I was looking at yesterday.
might be my favourite field

It seems ages since I last shared a post entirely about Algarvian flora, so I thought it might be helpful to share with you a list of the books and websites I use to help identify everything. I have referred to all of these before but this is the first time I have brought the complete list together. I hope you find it useful.

  • My favourite is a 2014 printed publication – Wild Flowers of the Algarve by Chris Thorgood and Simon Hiscock. They have since brought one out that cover the whole of the western Mediterranean which is now on my Christmas wish list!
  • A cheaper and much lighter guide for the rucksack is First Nature’s very good Wildflowers in the Algarve.
  • Online I always turn to Valter Jacinto’s photo pages first. His flower photography is excellent and his website very easy to browse.
  • I still do use the First Nature website as at times it has proved very helpful, but it is no longer my first port of call because I don’t find the search function that helpful. However don’t let me put you off as it is a very informative site.
  • And finally the website I frequently use to confirm identifications is Virtual Herbarium. It is a Spanish site which has excellent photographs and descriptions, and mostly importantly a very helpful search function.
  • UPDATE 17th November 2017 – a new one for the list is Flora On – an excellent Portuguese site which has a clever search facility

Wildflowers are found throughout the Algarve, but if you only have limited time then the general advice is to focus on the Barrocal – the narrow strip between the Serra (high hills) and the coastal plains. If you have more time or are specifically visiting for the flora then head to the most westerly part of the Algarve around and north of Sagres. As it is in this area where you will find most of the native flora. There again simply stopping at the side of the road can be awe-inspiring; Algarvian flora can flourish even on the most stony of waste ground.

If you are wondering where I took all of these, they were all photographed on a fabulous walk we did in April. It is unlikely there will be much in flower this month as it has been incredibly hot in Portugal, and there have also been a number of fires in the hills. I would also advise against attempting this walk on a hot day, but as the weather cools and the rains return this will be perfect for discovering flora in the many fields and meadows of the Algarvian hills.

Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

29 thoughts

  1. Several of these are the wild versions of things we pay a fortune for in the garden centres now. Absolutely lovey Becky, and especially the fields 🙂

    1. oh I am so glad you like, and particularly the fields. I hesitated about including so many but couldn’t make my mind up what to exclude. I am the same in garden centres!!

  2. A field of flowers is always an uplifting sight. Sorry to hear you are having a wet summer and even more sorry to tell you, even though August is usually our coldest winter month, it has been very mild. Next week the temperature is set to rise into the high 20s C, with not a drop of rain on the radar. It’s unheard of! We needed a good frost to sweeten our oranges, but it just hasn’t been cold enough.

    1. oh wow about your winter (perhaps we should swap!!) and how fascinating that you need a frost to sweeten the oranges. No frosts in the Algarve but their oranges are very sweet, guess it must be the variety?

  3. So many beautiful wild flowers in Portugal. I have the Scarlet Pimpernel (which is more of an orange than scarlet) in my garden, but I have never seen the purple version. Lovely images Becky, though I seem to have been lucky and missed all the wet weather!!

    1. I’m moving to Cornwall for the summer next year! Very envious of you missing the rain and of having Scarlet Pimpernels even if they are orange. I do miss the Algarvian flora

      1. You don’t want to be here at the moment. It is heaving with people and traffic. Except on ‘my’ hill where it is still unbelievably peaceful and calm.

  4. Just managing to catch up with you after being away camping on Anglesey and spending two weeks sorting my photos and updating my camping blog. Great photos and lovely flowers, it would be hard to choose a favourite 🙂

  5. What an incredibly useful as well as beautiful post, Becky! I don’t think Mick has seen it yet and he’s out working at present, but I suspect he will bookmark it. 🙂 🙂 I especially like that online pictorial site. (I’m a sucker for photos 🙂 )
    Sadly my friend died today. I really thought she would pull through so it was a shock.

    1. That pictorial one is brilliant isn’t it BUT Oh I’m so so sorry to hear about your friend. Sending lots and lots of hugs to you and her family xx

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