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Gibraltar Endemic Flowers

Gibraltar Endemic Flowers
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Gibraltar saxifrage Saxifraga globulifera Desf. var. gibraltarica Ser.

A herbaceous perennial which flowers between March and May. The leaves and stems are glandular-hairy, at first green, turning red, forming loose or dense, rounded clumps. The flowers are from 0.7 to 1 cm across, in clusters of 3 to 10. Not common, but this variety is endemic to Gibraltar. They grow in shady places, from limestone crevices, and on stony surfaces or old walls. The main stands are in the Rock Gun area and below, including the North Face, the Upper Galleries, and near the top of Mediterranean Steps.

Gibraltar restharrow Ononis natrix L. subsp. ramosissima (Desf.) Batt. var. ramosissima

A much branched, woody based, shrubby perennial which forms rounded clumps up to 80 cm across. The flowers clearly indicate that it is a member of the pea family. They appear between April and June. The leaves and stems are covered in short glandular hairs making the whole plant quite sticky, and resulting in the plant often being covered in grains of wind-blown sand. It is quite common in Gibraltar, but restricted to the East Side sand slopes, where the dark green clumps can be seen dotting the habitat. This variety is endemic to Gibraltar.

Gibraltar chickweed Cerastium gibraltaricum Boiss.

A loosely tufted, woody-based perennial, with much branched stems up to 30cm long.  The leaves are glandular-hairy, sticky. The flowers appear between April and June, and are around 2 cm across, in lax terminal clusters. This plant is endemic to Gibraltar, but is not common. It usually grows from crevices in the limestone, and mainly found in two stands: one on the North Face and the other along Mediterranean Steps. Individual plants may be found in very scattered places on rocky outcrops along the top of the Rock and the east-facing cliffs.

Gibraltar candytuft Iberis gibraltarica L.

A robust, woody-based, branched perennial, which forms a small shrub up to 40cm across. The flowers appear between March and May, and grow in broad, flat-topped clusters up to 8cm across. They are common and widespread throughout the Upper Rock, but especially from crevices in the limestone cliffs and rocky outcrops, from the North Face all round to Europa Point. This species is a native of North Africa, but Gibraltar is the only other place outside Africa where it grows in the wild.

Gibraltar campion Silene tomentosa Otth. (S. gibraltarica Boiss.)

A woody-based perennial, branching from the base, with stems up to 70cm tall. The fragrant flowers appear from April to May, and are between 1.8 cm and 2.4 cm across, arranged in branched panicles. Their colour ranges from almost white to a deep violet. This is a very rare species which is endemic to Gibraltar, and grows from crevices in the limestone. It was believed extinct for almost a century until re-discovered by Leslie Linares in 1979. Since then, the only recent sightings of this plant in the wild have been in 1985, 1994 and 2008. Attempts at growing plants from seed at the Alameda Botanic Gardens have been hugely successful, as have been the attempts to do so from seed and from micro-propagation at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. However attempts, to date, at re-introducing the garden-grown plants into the wild have not been very successful.

Gibraltar thyme Thymus willdenowii Boiss.

A woody and much branched, strongly aromatic, perennial dwarf shrublet, up to 30 cm across, usually spreading and growing flat against rock surfaces. Leaves to 1 cm long, densely hairy, lanceolate with inrolled margins. The flowers appear between April and June, small, white to pale violet, forming dense, rounded or elongated heads from 1.5 to 2 cm long. Common and widespread throughout the Upper Rock, though mainly along the upper parts. Grows from limestone crevices in clearings and along waysides. Believed to be endemic to Gibraltar, though some reports link it to North Africa.

Gibraltar sea lavender Limonium emarginatum (Willd.) Kuntze

A hairless perennial forming dense, dark green, rounded clumps from 10 to 30 cm across. The flowering stems reach up to 60cm long, branching widely in the upper parts. The flowers are about 8 mm across, violet to pink, in compact clusters 2 to 3 cm long. They appear between April and September. Very common on Gibraltar’s coastal rocks and cliffs all round the littoral, from Catalan Bay to Europa Point and around to Camp Bay. This species is endemic to the Strait of Gibraltar.

Gibraltar Endemic Flowers - First Day Cover

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