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Typical flowers of Minorca

In order to connect with nature, first we will take a small tour of some of the plants in Menorca. We will go into the Menorcan vegetation to know the island better

 

Introduction

The first thing to bear in mind when we talk about plant species in Minorca is that we are talking about plants that have been isolated from other similar species for millennia, simply because they live on an island, which has made them evolve in a different way.

Because they adapt to the particular climate of the northern coast of Menorca, which is dry and subject to the tramontana wind, some plants have smaller leaves than usual or have even been transformed into thorns. On the other hand, in the humid areas of the interior, low forests predominate where a great variety of plants and shrubs grow, and where up to 124 endemic plant species live today that you won't find anywhere else in the world.

 

nullHolm oak of Menorca​

 

Types of Menorcan vegetation

In Minorca we can distinguish three types of tree vegetation: the pine forests; which occupy large areas in the centre of the island and in the south reach the very edge of the sea; the holm oak forests, present in the central part and in some ravines in the south; and the communities of wild olive or wild olive trees, which on the island are called "ullastres", and which appear in shallow and dry soils.

nullMenorcan Pine​

nullMenorcan Acebuche​

Among the plants submerged in the humid areas, the salicornias and the reeds stand out. Near the sea, also in wetlands, there are two types of tamarisk.

nullSalicornia of Menorca​

nullJunk from Menorca​

The sea lily (Pancratium maritimum), the sand barrel (Ammophila arenaria) and the beach thistle (Eringium maritimum) appear in the sand of the dunes. In the second line, small trees such as the juniper grow.

nullMenorcan lily​

nullMenorcan Sea Thistle​

A particularity of the Minorcan coast is the presence of a shrub species adapted to the wind and salinity and which forms thorny cushions, here called "socarrells" (Launaea cervicornis). There are different species that are perfectly adapted to adverse environmental conditions and which provide shelter for other small and fragile plants. Their flowers are small but of an intense yellow colour.

nullSocarrell, characteristic of the Minorcan coast​

In spring the island is an explosion of colours when the fields are dressed in poppy red (Papaver rhoeas), and the roadsides are filled with seahorn yellows (Lotus creticus). At this time it is easy to find, in meadows or clear forests, some of the twenty-four kinds of orchids that exist on the island, among which the beautiful bee grass (Ophrys balearica), an endemic species of the Balearic Islands, stands out.

nullPoppies in spring​

nullBee orchids in spring in Menorca​

And we cannot finish this review of the flora of Minorca without mentioning a plant that many confuse with an algae, but which is actually a terrestrial plant that has adapted to the sea bed, and grows all along the Minorcan coast. We are talking about Posidonia, a species exclusive to the Mediterranean and the main cause of the wonderful quality and clarity of our waters, oxygenating it and serving as a habitat for the wide biodiversity that inhabits it.

nullposidonia

We recommend you to read our post about Cala Macarella where we talk about the flora and fauna.

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