Balearic Flora

M3 Reserve collections

This small area of terraces cut in a series of steps has been used to keep our collection of endemic plants and other species, which need special soil conditions.

Calamintha rouyana, is endemic to the Serra de Tramuntana in Majorca. It can be found between 900m to 1400m above sea level, in crannies and rock fissures in very restricted and specific areas. It belongs to the mint family, the Lamiaceae. It is a endangered plant catalogued as "vulnerable" (VU on the World Conservation Union, UICN, scale).

There are three thymes which grow in the Balearics. They also belong to the Lamiaceae family, and in the same taxonomic section, Serphyllum. All of them are endangered species: two grow in the Serra de Tramuntana in Majorca: one is the endemic Thymus herba-barona subsp. bivalens catalogued as critically endangered (CR on the UICN scale) and it is the subject of a Conservation Plan of the Botanical Garden; the other, Thymus richardii subsp. richardii, catalogued as "vulnerable" (VU on the UICN scale) and has a curious distribution, since it is also found in the Balkans Peninsula. The third thyme, Thymus richardii subsp. ebusitanus, is endemic to the north east of Ibiza and is also endangered and catalogued as "Vulnerable" (VU on the UICN scale).

Some small terraces in this area have original soil from Minorca, which because of its acidic PH allows certain plants from that island requiring special conditions to be grown. The geological history of the Balearic Islands is such that only in the northern part of Minorca do Palaeozoic rocks outcrop, represented by slate substrates, as in Cap Favaritx, and siliceous rocks and substrates in the rest. Thus we find silica loving plants in all of Minorca which can not survive easily on the other islands of the archipelago. Such is the case of Cistus creticus, a type of rock-rose not found in Majorca or Ibiza; of Erica scoparia subsp. scoparia, a broom heather with a more hairy habit that the one found in the Majorcan mountains; and of the lime hating Teline linifolia, a plant belonging to the Fabacea family with attractive yellow flowers similar to the broom.

In Minorca there is another endemic plant, the Daphne rodriguezii. It is a small bush with leathery leaves, cream colour flowers and a scent of reminiscent bleach. The fruit is red and fleshy, probably eaten by birds and lizards. This endemism of Minorca grows cosseted amongst other bushes on the shores on the island and more commonly on acid or basic substrates. It is a micro-aerial endangered species in the "vulnerable" category (VU on the UICN scale), and it is subject to a Recovery Plan in the Project LIFE 2000NAT/E/7355 of Conservation of areas with endangered flora in the Island of Minorca.