NEWS ABOUT THE FLORA OF OUR DUNES.
Fotografías e identificación hechas por la Asociación ProDunas.
FEBRUARY 2019 – THE DREADED PROCESSIONARY CATERPILLAR (Thaumetopoea pityocampa)
has got into the beautiful La Adelfa dune area in Bahia de Marbella, attacking the 52 pines we planted there 14 years ago.
ProDunas cut out all the branches where the caterpillars had spun their nests and Marbella Town Hall staff thoroughly fumigated all the affected areas.
Our most SINCERE THANKS to the team for the speed with which they fumigated. If we work together like this, we can take care of the health of the pines in this dune area.
AUGUST 2018 – THE SEA DAFFODIL (Pancratium maritimum)
The summer smile of this beautiful flower accompanies us during the 3 summer months, from July to September.
It’s fresh beauty is an inspiration to us all but all it wants is to be left where we find it, in its habitat. It wilts quickly if you pick it and put in a flower vase, even with water.
It develops very slowly from seed. It can take up to 3 years to flower, but when the petals open it is like an explosion of white all over the dunes.
All you can think of is peace and happiness when you come across it . . .
The GREAT or COMMON MULLEIN (Verbascum thapsus)
This plant has established itself in the dunes even though it comes from Europe. It likes both the sandy soil and the Costa del Sol climate, and there are more and more plants every year. In these spring-and early summer months it is eye-catching because it is so beautiful and stands so tall – up to 2 mt. Its leaves are delicately furry to the touch and its fresh yellow flowers are grouped stem-up.
Interestingly, very few people know of its therapeutic properties – although in the countries farther to the north of Spain the plant and especially its petals are used for medicinal purposes. The dried flowers are used to make infusions that in cold weather are said to protect against colds, flu and chesty coughs.
The medicinal virtues of this plant were known in the ancient world. It is an interesting plant for botanists.
SEA ORLAYA or DUNE CARROT (Pseudorlaya pumila)
This small umbelliferous or apiaceous plant (it carries its flowers in an umbrella-shaped cluster) is being closely studied by 2 eminent botanists of the Universities of Alicante (Spain) and Michigan (USA) along our Dunes ecosystems (13km), from the Natural Monument “Dunes of Artola” to the Marbella Dunes Ecological Reserve.
It can be found in sand soils and dune areas.
The whole plant is covered with stiff little hairs. The flowers can be either red or white and the seeds are covered with prickles. It blooms in spring and early summer.
This interesting plant belongs to the apiaceous/umbelliferous family and is a member of carrot sub-group.
PROLIFERATION OF THE AFRICAN DAISY (Arctotheca calendula) IN THE NATURAL MONUMENT “DUNAS DE ARTOLA”, CABOPINO
The construction of the pedestrian boardwalks in this dune area has resulted in damage to the sandy soil and has favoured the explosive propagation of the plant listed by the Ministry of Environment as invasive. There is a risk of altering this until now intact area.
In principle the plants are spread by seeds, which can cause a large quantity of regrowth from rhizomes or tubers. Dispersion is mainly anemochorous (by the wind) and also zoochorus (by animals). The seeds have a latency period so they can germinate with autumn rains. As the African Daisy is aggressive and can crowd out the native species such as:
Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum), Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum), Birds’ Foot Trefoil (Lotus creticus), Maritime Stock (Malcolmia littorea) etc. Prompt action is advisable to prevent its uncontroled development.
The Ministry for the Environment has entrusted Pro Dunas to organise Eradication Days to contain its possible spread throughout the entire Natural Monument area.
Pro Dunes calls for Citizen participation, so that working together we can eliminate this harmful species. To set Eradication Days that suit you, please call us on: 609 600 706 or contact us by email:
CAMPAIGN TO CONTROL AND ERADICATE THE INVASIVE EXOTICSPECIES: PURPLE FOUNTAIN GRASS (Pennisetum setaceum)
The Ministry of the Environment is counting on our urgent help to maintain strict control over the mistaken introduction of thisinvasive perennial plant to the environment. It is very harmful because of its rapid proliferation.
For many years our Association has been controlling the spread of this species in thedune areas in the Municipality of Marbella. We can certify that it grows in only onearea as a result of private introduction into the “La Adelfa” dune in Bahia de Marbella.
Pennisetum setaceum is an ornamentalplant and because of its beauty is often planted in private gardens. Unfortunately itis easily spread by the wind. It is all over the roadside of the N-340 motorway andthere is a lot of it in Marbella’s public parks.
SEA DAFFODIL (Pancratium maritimum)
It can be found in all the sand dune areas of the municipality of Marbella. Flowering is from August to October. The leaves are green before flowering, and wither with the flower. The sea daffodil dies when cut off, so it does not survive in a vase.
The seed is abundant. Its colour is black, and it is very much like charcoal, both to the touch as in appearance. Propagation by seeds is easy in windy weather, which favours its development in coastal sands.
MIRTO (Myrtus communis)
Young plants were introduced into the sand dunes “La Adelfa” Bahía de Marbella, Marbella in the year 2005 and flourished for the first time in June of 2011. They thrive in sand dunes and the undergrowth of pine and oak woods.
It is considered a “Symbol of Love and Beauty”, and its leaves, flowers and fruit are used in perfumery for their wonderful fragrance.
Actions for the conservation of the dunes area “La Adelfa” – Bahía de Marbella
Due to unauthorized prune by third persons, technicians of the Provincial Department for the Environment have carried out conservations actions and cleaning work in this beautiful specimen of Wild Olive tree. This olive shrub represents a high value for the natural heritage of the residents and Marbella
RIDAL VEIL BROOM – (White Retama monosperma)
This shrub blossoms for the first time!
Since it was planted in the dunes of Bahia de Marbella in the year 2006.
Its white butterfly shaped flowers give off a delicate fragrance and represent a delicious lure for the small wild birds
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Asociación ProDunas Marbella
The Association works tirelessly for the defence and preservation of the unique ecosystems that survive in the natural sand dune environments in the Province of Málaga; promotes the protection of native flora and small wildlife; promotes recovery, rehabilitation and conservation of interesting biodiversity of sand dunes areas in the municipality of Marbella.