Ibiza Wild Thymes Nature Report May 2020
Words by Gato Suarez
Welcome my fellow readers.. This is Gato, your humble flower power guide !
I feel like it’s Autumn, I feel like it’s Spring.. but Summer is actually here..
I really hope you have been able to plunge into the sea! I actually had an amazing hike and swim yesterday at Portixol near the coast of Sant Miquel de Balansat … if you haven’t been there yet in your lifetime it’s a must visit place in Ibiza!
This month’s nature report we will talk about the Beadlet Anemone, a beautiful sea creature, the Chicory flower power and the wild Fennel which is now sprouting all over the ISLAND! Everywhere, we might as well name Ibiza the Fennel Island..!
Special note: there are two kinds of Fennel in Ibiza! The LAND fennel and the SEA fennel, both are wild and both are delicious in their own right… and they are very abundant all over our white isle!
A tiny story about eating plants::
While I was living in Atlantis… a place called “Sa Pedrera” in Ibiza near the mirador (lookout) of EsVedra one of the most sought after sunset places on the island since forever probably. I first learned that I could actually eat Sea Fennel, this is a plant similar to something called Samphire
Which grows in the UK all over the coast, while similar in nature, I believe it’s a different plant; perhaps the flavour is similar but I still havent’ had the joy to visit the UK yet..
You can grab some fresh Sea Fennel fresh of any Ibiza coast, known by the locals as “fonoll marí” all over the Balearics, this under-rated and most likely under-eaten wild plant is great in your breakfast egg Omelette or any sort of stir-fry; or vegetable recipe you can fathom; you can also preserve it in a pickled jar for more longevity. Just try it!
It does have a season, it’s best to grab some when the leaves are at their largest (so the more plump the better) summer into autumn. I think it grows all year round, so experiment for yourself. I found out that in Mallorca this Sea fennel leaves are foraged and sold for about 3,50euros per kg. So hey maybe there is a little biz idea for you! Your welcome 🙂
Wild Ibiza Land Fennell
Now let’s go into the road of wild Fennel.. It grows all over the island…. And similar to wild Asparagus… you can find it growing in the middle of fields, or also next to the road.. So this is one of my favorite drive-thru wild plants. Other drive-thru plants include: Figs, SiempreViva flowers and the wild Ibiza blackberry “Rubus ulmifolius”, in the summertime.
While you’re riding your bicycle down the back country roads, you can grab a stem of the wild Fennel and just put it in your mouth and start chewing on it… it’s full of Calcium, Potassium and other nutrients that will make your journey on the road everlasting. You can also sprinkle it into any recipe you like as a spice or accent, and you can also juice it! Why not? Pure green flower powers!
If you are more of the alcoholic type, make sure you add some fennel stems and leaves into your next Hierbas Ibicencas bottle, this is one of 18 herbs added into the famous Ibiza liquor.
Make sure not to confuse it, there is another plant that is usually growing next to wild fennel but they are very different, and the “fake” fennel is not edible. Be sure to always verify with an expert before eating wild plants. I hope my photos help you ID the plant in question, but please be smart about it.
Wild Mediterranean Chicory Flower Achicoria
Once again this month we discover yet one more healing FlowerPower plant available in the wild fields or roadsides of Ibiza. Chicory is part of the sunflower family and there are a few varieties, once you correctly ID the chicory flower you can eat it, the flowers are edible. If you’re looking for a coffee “substitute” there are some kinds of Chicory coffee available at your local bio-shop, which is made with roasted chicory roots.
The general Healing properties of Chicory flower/root include:
- Helps with digestion
- Promotes appetite
- Lowers heart-rate
- Avoids constipation
- It’s also detoxing, diuretic and healing overall.
The Ibiza Fauna Report May 2020
lick it like a toad, you will get the feeling of eating chilly
And now for our first Fauna feature in the Wild Thymes report.. I present you with the Beadlet Anemone, this sea creature likes to hang out on the rocks, the one pictured here is from Portixol, it’s kinda like a flower, it’s usually closed and it looks like a “tomato”, they call it that in Spain, sea tomato; but depending on the time of day it will bloom and release its tentacles, the tentacles are not poisonous/harmful to touch or step on, but of course out of respect try not to step on it 🙂
By someones account on a youtube story, I found out that you can only feel the sting of the Beadlet Anemone if you actually lick it like a toad, you will get the feeling of eating chilly, apparently so, I for one wont try it myself, let me know if you do by tagging me on a photo or video at #wildthymesibiza2020 (at your own risk) hahah
The Beadlet I found in Portixol was always accompanied by a little transparent shrimpy, these are the ones that will give you a cuticle clean up if you keep your hands and feet very still a little bit under sea level, you can also find these manicure shrimpies inside the rock pools of Atlantis.
About the author: Gato is an 8 year resident of Ibiza, his work includes, wedding photography, pet photography, Ibiza photography in general and 3 years ago became a nature adventure guide, hike, bike and kayak. In June 2020 he became a Social Media Marketing consultant. Follow him on all social media channels @cangatoibiza
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