More wild flowers..and fat wolves!

Among other plants flowering in abundance this year is Valerian, which adorns the old (Roman?) bridge that you cross on entering Cercedilla.

Valerian, growing abundantly on top of one of the buttresses of the bridge.

Valerian, locally valeriana, growing abundantly on top of one of the buttresses of the bridge.

It almost looks as though the bridge has deliberately been decorated by the Ayuntamiento’s gardeners on both sides and all along its length..

The other side of the bridge..equally adorned by Valerian.

The other side of the bridge..equally adorned by Valerian.

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.

The Asphodel, asfodelo or gamón blanco.n

The Asphodel, asfodelo or gamón blanco.

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.

Gordolobos, "fat wolves"..more formally Verbascum thapsus, great mullein, just up the road from my house.

Gordolobos, “fat wolves”..more formally Verbascum thapsus, just up the road from my house.

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.

Advertisements

About coldspringdays

Éireannach is ea mé, i mo chonaí insan Spáinn. Rugadh mé i lár na tuaithe, ar feadh blianta bhí mé ag teitheadh uaithi, i bhfad as an tuath, ach sa deireadh d'fhill mé, ar ais go dtí an tuath.. An Irishman am I, settled in Spain. Born was I in the middle of the country, for years I ran from it, far from the country, but in the end I returned, back to the country..
This entry was posted in flora, language, Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to More wild flowers..and fat wolves!

  1. Pingback: The wolf at your door.. rewilding! | coldspringdays

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s