NATIVE PLANTS TO MALLORCA
Mallorca has a few plants that are native to the island, some are exclusive to the mountain areas and are rock and fissure-loving. Here are a few to look out for on your travels:
Spurge Olive (Cneorum Tricoccon) – reaching an average of 2 ft in height, the spurge olive plant is evergreen in colour, has yellow flowers from June to July and ripe seeds in August and September.
The fruits have no food value but the plant is rich in tannin and can be used as a source of fuel.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – fragrant evergreen herb Rosemary is actually a member of the mint family. The name ‘Rosemary’ comes from the latin name for ‘dew’ – ‘ros’ and ‘sea’ – ‘marines’ meaning dew of the sea. It is said the plant can be used as pest control in gardens and most famously for flavouring food.
Balearic Island Sage (Phlomis Italica) – an evergreen pink flowering scrub that grows to 1 meter in height and produces the pink flowers in the spring.
Balearic St John’s Wort (Hyperycum Balearicum) – a small evergreen plant growing to 1.5 meters that flowers with bright yellow flowers. It is known for its medicinal qualities for antidepressant, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Balearic Astragalus (Astragalus balearicus) – endemic to the Balearic Islands the plant has leaves that are divided into leaflets that eventually become a thorn. They grow on mountain ledges and thrive in harsh weather conditions.
Mediterranean Fan Palm (Chamareops Humilis) – the evergreen palm ranges in size from dwarf, ground-hugging size to a tall single trunked plant, they flower with yellow flowers.
If you are interested in the Mediterranean flora, the botanical gardens in Soller are a great place to visit, the center for conservation, study and understanding of the Mediterranean flora, especially the Balearic Islands. Here you will fond a living collection of over 350 Balearic species. For more information, visit www.jardibotanicdesoller.org.