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Kili or bust (Sean P O'Rourke): Wild Flowers in Andalucian Spring
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Wild Flowers in Andalucian Spring · Apr 27, 12:22 PM by admin

On a recent walk about 10 minutes from our pleasant little holiday home in Andalucia I was very fortunate to find what I later discovered was a Bird of Paradise Plant. This dazzling plant which was flowering just off the side of a rocky mountain track in pleasant February sunshine opened my eyes once again to the array of colour that is peculiar to Mediterranean climates. I couldn’t wait for the spring profusion to take off and this little article is the result of a mid April jaunt along that same track.


Spectacular Wild Algerian Iris

Mountain Fields of beautiful colour

Natural Mountain Rockery

In the few minutes it took to drive away from “civilisation” and reach the start of our walk we passed orchards of lemons, oranges, peaches, plums and avocados. The grape vines appear to be only starting at this time but the trees of all those mentioned are weighed down with delicious fruit.

Multitudes of Fruits

Seems humble enough but this is the lucrative olive tree that appears by the million all over Andalucia which is, of course, the world’s capital for olive oil.

As the road disappeared and lumpy Andalucian fields of endless wild flowers gave way to rocky outcrops leading toward dark brooding mountains, I was reminded how the perched small white pueblos contrast so well against them, just as the generous dark coloured Bougainvillea does so startlingly as it tumbles over the white balconies of Marbella.


One of several wild Gladioli

A walk in the minor mountains of Mijas or the Sierra de las Nievas at this time of year is a flower lover’s dream. Only a couple of miles from the hum drum of the sunny beach resorts is a remote wilderness packed full of the most beautiful wild flowers imaginable. I am no expert when it comes to recognising plants but I brought a well illustrated reference book with me and, for once, took some reasonable time to find out the names.

Roadside Poppies

Wild orchids, irises and gladioli vie with oceans of wild red poppies and sprinklings of the stark yellow horned version. Various cistus, brooms, flaxes, vines, different sized daisies and wild pea thrive among the rocks and sandy tracks that cover this otherwise barren looking landscape.

Sprinkling of Spring Colour Colourful Cistus

When we arrived for this trip there had been a few weeks of broken weather with plenty of spring rain. It all cleared up shortly after we arrived and the summer sunshine began in earnest so the build up of water, heat and light brought on an explosion of growth and spring flowering that has simply been a joy to behold.

Fabulous Flax

Grasses with coloured Flax

Even with quite a comprehensive reference book I was quite unable to decipher the great majority of the plants that I encountered.

Daisies of many sizes

Apart from the usual herb smells of thyme, lavender and sage we have been treated to Chinese wisteria, lilies, narcissi and various violets. All the evergreens seem to be sticking their chests out and small pines, juniper and various prickly furzes are glistening in the sun. To see how some of these species appear to not only cling to life by the slightest thread but burst into such profusion in bowls of dusty heat and rock strata is truly breathtaking.

Sparse Beauty

Clinging to life but thriving also!

I have noted exotic grasses and palms, honeysuckles, teasels, campanulas, myrtle, paoenies, hollies and various cacti, the most common of which is the Prickly Pear.

Ancient Moorish Farmed Terraces

This part of Spain is quite literally a geocachers paradise. Within a radius of 5 miles from my own place there are hundreds and maybe even thousands of what we in Ireland would regard as perfect cache hides.

Geocachers Paradise

We often try so hard to mimic nature in the garden while the lady herself just seems to manage it effortlessly.

Another wild Mountain Rockery

Colour comes in many forms. Sometimes it just takes a slightly deeper gaze.

Different types of colour Joan and the Broom Three Prickly Furze

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