Tuberaria guttata - Spotted rockrose/Annual Rockrose

Phylum: Magnoliophyta - Class: Equisetopsida - Order: Malvales - Family: Cistaceae

Tuberaria guttata

Spotted Rockrose is closely related to the many Cistus species that appear in the Mediterracean region, including the Iberian Peninsula.

Tuberaria guttata in Portugal

Identification

This wildflower is very variable in appearance, which can make identification rather problematic at times. Tuberaria guttata, an annual, grows up to 30cm tall. A basal rosette of oval leaves usually shrivels by the time the flowers are ready to open. There are also between 2 and 5 pairs of opposite leaves up the flower stem and a few smaller alternate leaves above these. Flowers, borne in a loose inflorescence of five or more, are typically 1cm in diameter and have five sepals and five yellow petals with (usually but not always) dark red spots or arcs near the petal bases.

Distribution

Spotted Rockrose is mainly a Mediterranean species, but these attractive annual plants are also found along the Atlantic coast of France, with outposts in Anglesey, North Wales, and on the west coast of Ireland.

Habitat

The habitats favoured by Tuberaria Guttata are generally dry and rocky, with just a thin layer of nutrient-poor soil. In the Mediterranean region these pretty wildflowers grow on roadside verges, woodland tracks and in unimproved grassland on field margins.

Blooming times

Spotted Rockrose, a member of the Cistaceae family, produces impressive carpets of flowers from February until June.

Etymology

The specific epithet guttata comes from the Latin guttatus meaning spotted.

The specimens shown on this page were found in the Algarve region of Portugal during May.


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