Among other plants flowering in abundance this year is Valerian, which adorns the old (Roman?) bridge that you cross on entering Cercedilla.
It almost looks as though the bridge has deliberately been decorated by the Ayuntamiento’s gardeners on both sides and all along its length..
but no, this is a spontaneous wild flower planted by no human hand. It’s not entirely clear that the bridge that stands today really dates from the Roman period..it may well do, a great part of its construction is undoubtedly very ancient and its location would fit perfectly the approach of the Roman road that headed up the Fuenfría Valley and crossed Guadarrama at Fuenfría Pass on its way to Segovia. The wonderfully Roman-evocative name Valerian would also make this plant very appropriate for a bridge built by those ancient Latins. The truth is that this plant grows typically in urban scenarios high on old stone walls and can be found in many places around Cercedilla on walls but a few decades of age..this year perhaps more abundantly than others.
Another plant prevalent this year and with a name evocative of the ancient world is the Asphodel – ἀσφόδελος for the Greeks – locally known as asfodelo or gamón.
You won’t find this one in town but barely outside the urban precincts it can be found readily beside the trail.
And yes, there are “fat wolves” lurking on the edge of town too! What am i talking about? We know that wolves have newly established themselves in the rather more remote Sierra Norte..but close to Cercedilla??! No, i’m just making a playful translation of Gordolobo, also known as Verbasco or Mullein in English.
It’s a magnificent plant which can grow up to two meters high and produces a host of small yellow flowers in the characteristic fashion which earns it yet another local name: candelaria.