During my stay in Mertola, we did two short walks along the river. The first pictures are from near the town centre, the second group from Canais do Guadiana where we were joined by a local producer of essential oils, who showed us some of the plants they use. There’s a great little video of the area and plants on the producer’s website: http://dalenguadiana.pt
Vitor Menas and Fernando Garcia run the business and Fernando joined us on the walk and showed us around the workshop in the village.
THe River Guadiana near Mertola
Old mill on the river below Mertola
The first plant was a surprise edible, Epazote, Chenopodium ambrosioides, introduced from Mexico! Ambrósia-do-México
Epazote, Chenopodium ambrosioides; Ambrósia-do-México
…and then Apium nodiflorum (fool’s watercress/rabaça), one of the 80 in my book!
Morus spp. (mulberry)
Tamarix africana (African tamarisk)
Mentha suaveolens (Hortelã-brava)
Lycopus europaeus and Mentha suaveolens
Epazote in the foreground
Apium nodiflorum (fool’s watercress/rabaça)
Introduced Nicotiana glauca
Verbascum sinuatum? (Wavy-leaved mullein / cachapeiro)
Our guide Nuno Roxo introduced us to a local plant man, who produces essential oils in a small village, Corte Sines in the hills near Mertola. He took us to a location near the river (Guadiana) where they harvest herbs for their business. These are the main herbs they use: Cistus ladanifer Lavandula stoechas, pedunculata and viridis, Rosmarinus officinalis Thymus mastichina Fueniculum vulgare Helichrysum stoechas Eucalyptus globulus Mentha pulegium Ruta graveolens
Mentha pulegium, pennycress
Daucus carota, wild carrot
Nuno Roxo told us that he acted as guide for visiting birdwatchers
Pistacia lentiscus, alfostigueiro
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary / alecrim)
…and just as we approached the river a Golden Eagle flew right overhead!
Rumex pulcher subsp. woodsii?
Silybum marianum seedlings…excellent greens when the plants are young and thornless
Sheep grazing by the Guadiana River