The professors and students from Kew Gardens, London, are here in Las Negras at the moment enjoying their annual field trip. This is the 27th consecutive year the group has come here in the spring to study the flora.
On their first day, last Friday, they walked from Las Negras to Las Hortichuelas via the rambla that passes below our house.
Here, the students were able to see rarities such as a pink dianthus, exclusive to the Cabo de Gata, and Caralluma europaea, the latter somewhat shrivelled because of the drought. There is also an attractive white daisy, which is uncommon, found here.
In 1988, Professor Jim Ross from the Department of Botany at the University of Reading, was on holiday in Las Negras. We took him on this walk and he was so impressed with the flora that he decided to bring his students here the following year for their annual field trip which we organized for them. The department of Botany at Reading University closed a few years ago when the professors, Jim Ross and Stephen Jury, retired but the group from Kew Gardens, who joined the Reading group in the early years, continue to come here.
On Saturday and Monday the group visited Sorbas and Las Filabres but we caught up with them again yesterday when they walked the cliff path from Las Negras to El Playazo. This route is rich in flora, especially maritime species, and there was much to study.
I showed the professors photos of the yellow-wort found in Rambla de Las Negras on Sunday (see previous blog) and was pleased when they confirmed that the flower has not been recorded here before.
The students were excited to find an example of a pretty convolvulus which is not uncommon in the Cabo de Gata but, because of the dry winter, is scarce this spring.
El Playazo and the small beach below the castle looked beautiful yesterday in the dazzling spring sunshine. Here are some photos.