Archive for 'Flowers'

Fringed Rue (Ruta chalepensis) UV

No special patterns appear in UV for this flower!

Fringed Rue (Ruta chalepensis)

I only found this species in one specific location on Skant (or Skand) – the highest point on all of Socotra – and was grateful it was in bloom.

Libinhania sphaerocephala UV

Very dull in UV compared to the many color variations in visible light. Endemic.

Libinhania sphaerocephala

Close to the top of Socotra, Skant (or Skand) I found some healthy plants of this species under some trees, which was a relief as all the previous I saw on the way up here were either drooping from lack of water or were browsed by goats. Endemic.

Oldenlandia balfourii UV

The yellow center of the flower is dark in UV, and the white petals are also quite dark. In UV this small flower appears prominent against the greyness of the background seen here. Endemic.

Oldenlandia balfourii

This plant has such tiny flowers so they are very easy to miss! On the field below the weather station of Skant I found many of them growing under trees. Endemic.

Spiniluma discolor

On the highest peaks of Socotra you’ll find magnificent deciduous trees like this one. Some were finished shedding leaves whilst others were in yellows or reds like the temperate autumns. I was definitely entering their very last moments before the season of rest, so this is perhaps more a developing fruit than that of a […]

Trichodesma microcalyx

The smaller plants on top of Socotra were still in good condition, and thus I found flowers in excellent condition compared to the drooping or even dried ones further down the slopes. Had I come a week or so later, even the plants up here would have been drooping, so I was very grateful! Even […]

Trichodesma microcalyx

The smaller plants on top of Socotra were still in good condition, and thus I found flowers in excellent condition compared to the drooping or even dried ones further down the slopes. Had I come a week or so later, even the plants up here would have been drooping, so I was very grateful! Even […]

Rhus thyrsiflora UV

Not particularly colorful in visible light and even less so in UV – all dark as it is.

Rhus thyrsiflora

I found many of this species on top of Socotra – Skant (or Skand), but few with good flowers as it was nearing the end of the season. Endemic.

Pulicaria lanata UV

Dark center opposed to the all-yellow appearance in visible light – a typical Asteraceae! Endemic.

Pulicaria lanata

As I was getting closer to the highest of the Haghier (or Haggeher) mountains – Skant (or Skand) – I noticed this plant with wooly leaves, but none with flowers, or at least none with fresh flowers. On the very top, on Skant, I did find some that still not past blooming. Again I was […]

Socotra plant 26

A most peculiar inflorescence, but with with very attractive color! I found only two plants with this stage of flowering – all other were passed bloom. Again the top of Socotra – Skant (or Skand) was the very last range for the season, as on lower altitudes the dry season was way underway. Please help […]

Thamnosma socotrana

A most peculiar plant! I only found this plant with fresh flowers, but unfortunately not with open flowers yet. I found it in very steep terrain close to the top of Skant (Skand). Here the goats seemed to have been unable to destroy the vegetation, so it was exceptionally dense and varied.

Helichrysum rosulatum – as a tree!

Contrary to available literature, this is not necessary a cushion plant, unless goats get to them. I found this specimen of epic proportions on a sheer cliff – unacessible to the goats. It was like a tree – perhaps many hundreds of years old. This is a typical example of how goats have transformed many […]

Hypericum sp.

Never in my entire life have I seen hypericum grow as dense and tall shrubs as on top of Socotra (Skant)! I was mesmerized by the abundance of plants and flowers, and also relieved that goats leave at least this species alone. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 Endemic.

Hypericum sp.

Hypericums are beautiful in UV light, as they are not uniformly colored, and this species is no exception. This species forms impenetrable thickets dotted with flowers, that seem pruned by an expert, but neither goat nor human have anything to to with this amazing growth! Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂 […]

Convolvulus sarmentosus UV

Yet another Convolvulaceae with identical color in UV light! I have yet to encounter one, no matter ho many different colors in visible light, that is not the same in UV!

Convolvulus sarmentosus

Resembles Convolvulus sarmentosus, but its petals are rounded outwards opposed to this one which are flattened and pointing inwards at the mid-nerve of the petals. Also grows on lower elevations than this (1500 meters elevation), but few are intact as they are eaten by goats and cows. A very small plant, but that I think […]

Helichrysum rosulatum UV

The tiny flowers are dark in UV light compared to the mellow cream in visible light. Endemic.

Micromeria remota

I wish I had a week on top of Socotra as there are so incredibly many magnificent plants species and many grow only on socotra! This was the only specimen I could find on Skant (Skand), but with more days I’m certain I would have found magnificent speciemens if I could have climbed where goats […]

Helichrysum rosulatum

As the island of Socotra is basically one big goat farm, there are very few plants that are not consumed, or at least stunted by their grazing. Several plant species are venomous while others emit sticky or foul tasting juice. This species has no such defense and is eaten by goats. Thus I was looking […]

Coelocarpum haggierensis UV

No surprise in color distribution in UV light compared to visible light for this species – brighter center compared to the darker outer. Endemic.

Coelocarpum haggierensis

This species grows to the size of small trees, and this one is just a few meters from the highest point of Socotra – Skant (or Skand). Endemic.

Hypericum balfourii UV

The flowers of this giant of hypericums are dark in center in UV, compared to the all-yellow in visible light. Endemic.

Hypericum balfourii

When I suddenly stood in front of a hypericum tree, my heart jumped an extra beat and I jumped towards it in awe to make sure I did not hallucinate! This plant is close to 3 meters tall and is not only endangered due to it’s endemism and very limited range but must be of […]

Socotra bottle tree (Adenium obesum ssp. socotranum)

This is the iconic and endemic bottle tree, or desert rose of Socotra – Adenium obesum ssp. socotranum. When you find one in bloom like this one you simply cannot resist taking a closer look. It is an amazing sight to see the lushness and bright colors in a landscape of dryness – it’s like […]

Socotra bottle tree (Adenium obesum ssp. socotranum) UV

What’s interesting with this landscape view of the bottle tree, is that the flowers appear same color in UV as the lichen on the rocks! Endemic.

Socotra bottle tree (Adenium obesum ssp. socotranum)

This species is endemic to Socotra, meaning it grows only on this island! They come in so many shapes and sizes and sometimes resembles works of art – with or without flowers. Despite this it was not easy to find a specimen with a great shape and with flowers, as either I found amazing shapes […]

Lavandula nimmoi

To find Lavender on Socotra was not expected, and my mindset was on this being an invasive or at least non-endemic species. But endemic it is! Again most were completely eaten by goats, but I managed to find one that was partly intact, at least one of inflorescences. Endemic.

Lavandula nimmoi UV

Appears much duller in UV compared to visible light. Endemic.

Kalanchoe farinacea UV

Very interesting in UV, as the flowers have more variations in color than in visible light in which it appears uniformly orange.. Endemic.

Heliotropium nigricans

All specimens of this species were heavily grazed by goats, so I was very happy to find this plant which had one intact and healthy flower. Endemic.

Heliotropium nigricans UV

White in visible light but quite dark in UV, and stands out in an otherwise dull/grey background in UV.

Tamarix nilotica

An incredible plant growing to small trees here in Stera of south Socotra. Earlier this morning I saw “bleeding” on the trunks and branches of these plants, and realized it was water. I thought it was moisture caught during the night. It was as salt as it gets! These plants stand tall and strong here […]

Euryops arabicus UV

No surprise for this Asteraceae – dark in the center opposed to all yellow in visible light.

Euryops arabicus

At around 700 meter elevation this species start to appear alongside the road to Dixam, and on the plateau they are in some places so dense you can see the yellow of the flowers from far away.

Socotra plant 22

I found this species on the scorching hot plain at sea level in the north by the road to Dixam, as well as higher up on around 800 meters elevation. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂

Leucas sp

Resembles leucas spiculifera, but the flowers are morphologically too different to be same species. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂

Leucas virgata

I found very few with flowers, and only this one with a healthy flower. All plants were stunted due to heavy grazing by goats. Endemic.

Exacum affine

Mesmerizingly beautiful plants when in bloom! If the plant has found a better than average place to grow, and against all odds have not been stunted by goats, it will produce a huge number of flowers and that is truly a magnificent sight! Endemic.

Libinhania gracilipes

A slender and fragile plant with flowers I’m surprised were not eaten by the goats. I found it on my way to Hoq cave – quite close to the opening, so moisture was still available for the plants to complete flowering.

Helichrysum sp

Resembles helichrysum gracilipes, but I’ve not found documentation on a wide variation on the inflorescence or leaves – only color variation of pink to white flowers. This one has asymmetrical flower, opposed to asymmetrical or zygomorphic in gracilipes. I found it on my way to Hoq cave – quite close to the opening, so moisture […]

Achyranthes aspera

This is the only specimen I found growing out in the open landscape that was not eaten by goats. Perhaps it was intact because it was leaning against a rock? The other ones I found were growing inside other plants that were either unpalatable or to thorny for the goats to bother reaching for them.

Exacum affine

Very eye-catching flowers, so much so that quite a few know them from florists as a house plant. These were located alongside the stream between the dunes of Archer in the north of Socotra.. Endemic.

Limonium paulayanum

A very hardy plant that I found commonly in the Archer area in the north-east where it grows close to the ocean and thus the salt. I found very few with open flowers during my visit. Endemic.

Socotra plant 21

Yet another species in the fabaceae family and quite common too. This is from the Archer sea-side in the north-east. Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂

Placopoda virgata

I had to look far and wide to find a plant with flowers, as they all seemed past their prime flowering season, but at least I did find this one! Endemic.

Socotra plant 19

An amazing plant that can survive being completely covered by sand for long periods. During my visit the plant was in a situation completely opposite – the roots were out in the open, and it looked like long tentacles. Yet it was vital and in full bloom! The root system seems extraordinarily wide and deep […]

Atriplex farinosa (Chenopodiaceae)

The sand dunes of Erissel – the Socotra east cape – have some very specialized plants thriving in the wind-swept sand. This species was in some places growing so dense that it seemed like a silvery thicket. This location is windswept and hot, with only rain or brackish water available, but this is a specialist […]

Kohautia socotrana

This flower is so elusive! I found one flower, and marked the spot so I would find it when I returned with my camera. Alas! I did not find it. It’s color is very similar to the ground in which it grows, and it’s so slender and skinny that even fully opened flowers are easily […]

Trachyspermum pimpinelloides

I was in luck to find plants with inflorescences! Most were early in their development, and I found them not far from the beach in the north east of the island.

Aloe perryi

It’s amazing how localized the rain and climate is on this island, and when it comes to this species I was about to give up, as all were long past blooming season, and none had any sign of stalks. Except this one on my way to the dragon blood tree forest. Another gift! Endemic.

Cucumis prophetarum

The entirety of this cucumber plant is really fascinating, and I’ve never seen it before, nor do I know if it’s an endemic or not.

Corbichonia decumbens

This one I found on the riverside of Kalesan gorge, which means it must endure flash floods – impressive!

Phyllanthus maderaspatensis

I found this species on dry riverbeds.

Socotra plant 14

I found this species in only one place, on the most inaccessible sheer cliffs alongside a river gorge – not even the goats can destroy this one! Please help me identify it – leave a comment 🙂

Lachnocapsa spathulata UV

Yet another species with very dark flowers in UV.

Kalanchoe farinacea

I found several plants of this species, but only this one with vital flowers. It stands on the bare face of a rock overlooking a river valley (Wadi Kalesan) in the northeast of Socotra. A beautiful plant with or without flowers. A plant at its best – out in the wild and not in a […]