Corn Marigolds (3)Last November I advised that the best time to visit the Algarve as a botanical tourist was in the Spring. Well Tuesday certainly proved that as I photographed over 50 different flowers on a short walk, and could have photographed far more if a) I had remembered to charge my camera before we went out and b)we had not been concerned about being caught in the thunderstorms either side of us. I did however remember to take identification style photographs as well as my ‘pretty’ ones and consequently have had success with the essential identification element of being a botanical tourist.  I even managed to identify flora as we walked, and some of the flora I simply strolled past thinking, ‘oh yes that’s a_______ and I’ve got a photograph at home‘. At this rate by the end of this trip I might be brave enough to describe myself as an amateur botanist.

Guessing a cyperus but have yet to identify (2)There again looking at the photographs that remain unnamed, the uncertains (such as the one to the right!) and the number of occasions when I replied on Tuesday ‘ah yes, the name of that one, its’s  . . . . erm. Oh I had it a moment ago. It is on the tip of my tongue‘ perhaps I should stick with the label of ‘flora photographer’! By the way if you know what type of cyperus this is, if it is a cyperus, then please do let me know. I’d also be delighted if anyone could tell me what the one is below. I suspect it is a cultivated plant which has spread.

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Three Leaved Snowflake (Leucojum trichphyllum) (4)You are probably wondering by now about my title, well that refers to one of the new flowers we stumbled across on Tuesday. It looks like a Snowdrop, and that’s what I first called it despite observing it in very sunny sandy habitat. It is of course though the Three-leaved Snowflake. The fact we saw so many here probably reflects the fact there has been quite a bit of rain recently, fortunately though none on Tuesday from the thunderstorms that surrounded us. Its scientific name was formerly Leucojum trichophyllum, but now it is known as Acis Trichophylla. They like open coastal pine woodlands which is where we saw them. I admit I may have taken some artistic licence with my title!

Aspodelus (1)Whilst for us Tuesday’s stroll was memorable for the Spotted Redshank  and numerous Purple Swamphens (another post!) not forgetting the rumbling sounds of the thunder, it will also remain in my memory because of the diversity of flora. However despite all that we saw on Tuesday we still saw less than a tenth of the native Algarvian flora. There are around 1,500 native flowering plants in the Algarve let alone the imports; no wonder I struggle with identification!

So perhaps this is a good time to finish this post, and I’ll finish with a photograph of one of Tuesday’s approaching storms. There have been numerous storms this week including a hailstorm, but all short lived and followed immediately by blue skies and glorious sunshine. It must be spring. Wishing you all a very Happy Easter, and don’t forget to let me know if you recognise any of my uncertains and do also let me know if you think I might have mislabelled anything. Simply hover over the photographs in the two galleries for names.