Following on from our Guide to Hvar’s Wildflowers – Spring Edition, I’ve been out and about looking for what’s in bloom at the end of summer. These are mostly in the high country around the peak of Sv Nikola and on the Vorh plateau, although some are down around sea-level, even right on the beach in some cases.
I have to say I was encouraged to find so many wildflowers in September, after what has been a scorching summer. My aim in writing the blog is to identify each one, and tag the photos with an official name in Latin, English and Croatian. With my previously somewhat inexpert pictures in mind, this time I was careful to include more of the plant (leaves, seedpods, etc) in my reference photos. And let’s hope the upcoming new series of that wonderful Croatian TV series Lovac na bilje, (The Plant Hunter) includes a trip to the Dalmatian coast and islands, as that could really help me identify the plants here!
Here’s the reference table of late-summer flowers. Usual disclaimer applies: while I have a reasonable confidence in most of the names, some are tentative especially when very similar suspects exist! I’d welcome any feedback from those with a rather better grounding in botany! Click on the images for a bigger picture, and links take you to wikipedia or plantea to find out more.
Velecvjetna gorska metvica
Mint family but could be wild basil?
|Centaurea glaberrima Tausch or Centaurea jacea
Not sure exactly which variant of Centaurea this is. Reference pictures differ!
Flower head is actually a round ball, hence the Croatian name of White head!
This photo taken on a Sv Klement beach. A similar plant is Salicornia, which turns red as it ages. Both samphire and salicornia are used in cooking.
Woody or sticky fleabane
Ljepljini oman / brušćinac / bušina
Komorač or koromač
|Hedera helix poetarum Nyman
This version of ivy is native to southern Europe, and the flowers are high in nectar. Which is why this mound of ivy on Vorh was absolutely swarming with happy bees and butterflies! This one is a Cardinal.
|Inula Crithmoides / Limbarda crithmoides
Compare to samphire/motar above
Rešetkasta mrižica or Rešetkasta travulja
This tiny variant of sea-lavender appears to be local to Croatia. Seen on Sv Klement beach.
Opuntia / prickly pear
An exotic import from Mexico that grows well here!
The berries on this bush are really pretty, but the Croatian name is “Smelly“
Few references even mention this European version of plumbago! Flower looks very similar to the Scilla (below), but this has 5 petals, not 6 and the clusters are different.
|Scilla autumnalis or Prospero autumnale
In this case, the leaves are misleading as they belong to another plant!
Modrozeleni ostak or Kostriš
“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them”
~ A.A. Milne