And so it begins, another year of wildflower spotting. Exploring the local area and hunting out wildflowers is one of my favourite activities to do here in Jordan. Even in the middle of a cold winter there are still wildflowers to be found. Nature providing a year round visual treat for those who dare to take the time to look.
After the snow and rain in December winter bulbs are poking their heads through the grounds. The first two flowers were found less than 1km from our house on one of my favourite walking tracks.
These Egyptian Meadow Saffron or Colchicum ritchii were found in such a harsh landscape, 1300 metres above sea level on an arid, exposed mountain side, and there was only this small patch that I could see. There could have been more as they bloom in late December and into January, but this was all that I could find on the 30th January.
Further around in a more sheltered part on this mountain track was this Bellevalia desertorum or more commonly known as the Desert Roman Squill. Unlike the Egyptian Meadow Saffron there were 100’s of these plants starting to emerge from the ground, with only a few early ones starting to open their flowers. I can’t wait to visit this site over the next few weeks to see what unfolds – that is providing the sheep and goats don’t eat them all first.
A trip out to Baida provided yet some more winter wildflowers.
This Silver Nailroot, or sometimes also referred to as Algeria Tea survives in extreme desert landscapes. It’s scientific name is Paronychia argentea. This one was doing it’s best in a very rocky and unforgiving patch of soil.
A common sight in the sands of the Baida area are these Desert Squills. They provide a great contrast to the landscape with their vibrant green against the browns and yellows. The plants alway emerge after the first winter rains, but don’t flower until late summer and into early autumn when the foliage dies back and the flowers emerge on top of a straight tall stalk. This photo shows the remains of a flower from last season and the new growth of this year.
In abundance, and in total contrast to the one that I found on my walk near home, are the Egyptian Meadow Saffron. A first glance across the landscape it looks like there are 100’s of feathers, but closer inspection reveals the delicate petals of the crocus. They range in colour from white to pink to soft lilac.