Iberia IV

A thistle and fennel, a view or two, and the Pinsapo revisited! From Ronda to Granada: more blogging-lite from the Iberian Peninsula. 

Ronda, a town with a view

And in that view, the big blobs of yellow are the Giant Fennel (Ferula communis)

Plus, identified with the (recommended) app Plant@Net, the Blessed Milkthistle, otherwise known by the snickering botanical name of Silybum marianum. I also checked it in the new Wild Plants of Southern Spain by Tony Hall (of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew). I had the book delivered to my hotel in Seville and I can highly recommend it - for a tour of Andalusia...

Nearby to all this magnificent scenery and charming weeks, is the home of the Marques de Salvatierra. A sixteenth century home with eighteenth century (1778) extension, and a lovely small garden 'out the back'.

In that garden I expected to find one of these, a Spanish Fir or Pinsapo (Abies pinsapo). This is a rare tree, the regional tree of Andalusia, and one I've blogged about before. This is what it looks like, in the streets of Ronda (and near to where it grows naturally).

But in the garden of the Palace of the Marquis, I'm afraid the 200 year-old Pinsapo looks like this... 😢

But of course the good thing about gardens, and plants, is that you can plant anther one. Close by is a seedling, which I think will be transplanted when the stump of its parent has been removed.

After Ronda we headed to Maliga where we visited a private home called Finca Carambuco (the latter word a common name for Vachellia (Acacia) farnesiana, a South African wattle growing in the garden). In there garden we saw what is reputedly the largest Ombu (Phytolacca dioica) in Spain, after only 50 years of growth.

And then in Malaga's La Concepcion botanic garden you can enjoy the offspring of the fruits of the Spanish voyages to South America, with plants like Monstera deliciosa. And why and how does it have those holes? Well, I'll post about that when I return to Australia...


Erik van Lennep said…
I was recently visiting Malaga's La Concepcion as well. The picture you posted reminded me of the amazing microclimate that has been created there, really cool and humid...in contrast to the surrounding area which is hot and dry. Multi-storied, diverse canopy planting can buffer the effects of harsher climates. Evidence is there for anyone to experience!
Tim Entwisle said…
Yes, local climate near coast plus clever generation of microclimate. Very effective!
Anonymous said…
Hi Tim. Is there also a large Phytolacca at Sydney RBG? I have a vague recollection of of a hugely sprawling root plate. Same species or am I getting confused with something else?
Cheers Rob
Tim Entwisle said…
Yes there is. The base is like a volcanic come. It's in the old rectangular garden beds near to the Herbarium. Tim.
Anonymous said…
Yes thats it, like a giant elephant hide. I was stunned that Phytolacca can be so impressive. At the time I was only familiar with P.octandra thats established here and there. Rob
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