Apart from the promise of a Second Spring if the first autumn rains come at the right time, October is hardly prime flowering season in Menorca. The ‘vegetable hedgehogs’ or socarrels that so characterise the endemic Balearic flora have almost all finished, although their characteristic forms are dispersed on every rocky peninsula, of which the island has many. Only the unique cushion Rosemary (variety palaui) is left to feed the butterflies…
But with searching, there are still flowers to be found, from Sand Daffodil and Yellow Horned-poppy on the dunes, to Mediterranean Tree-heath in the hills and Stink Aster by every wayside:
But pride of place, if only for its glorious, alluring perfume that filled every glade in the still and humid conditions, must go to Smilax, its unassuming white stars on viciously spiny vines:
Aside from flowers, the whole island was fruiting profusely:
And other signs of the season included leaves changing colour and at least a sprinkling of fungi:
Any view of the flowering of Menorca in autumn cannot overlook the importance of garden plants. Even though they originate from all corners of the warmer parts of the world, many of the showy ornamentals were an irresistible draw to butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Indeed, the Lantana in Matchani Gran, our wonderful base, ever-thronged in Swallowtails and Hummingbird Hawk-moths, was rivalled in terms of insectiness only by the festoons of flowering Ivy in Algendar Gorge.
Autumn in Menorca with Honeyguide Wildlife Holidays: Part 2 – Flowers and fruits