Algarve Wild Flowers

There are new online talks available on the main web site page

These include the talks given at the latest International Spring Conference held in Estoril in May 2015. We would like to record our gratitude to the speakers for the kind and generous sharing of their talk and enabling these special presentations to reach a wider audience.

Topics and speakers available

Dr Jorge Paiva on the Secondary School Native Plant garden of Barcelos

Jean-Paul Brigand on the economic potential for Garden Tourism in Portugal

John Fielding on the Wildflowers of the Algarve from the March 2015 AGM

Keep checking in as more talks are scheduled to be added later.

Cistus ladanifer flower


Meet the Authors

Saturday April 5th, 2014

at 2.00pm,

Quinta da Figueirinha,


Presented by new Association for Mediterranean Gardeners in Portugal
We are very pleased to confirm that both authors will be present at the only book launch event on the Algarve for the newly published Kew Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of the Algarve. There will be a short presentation on Algarve wild flowers and the opportunity to meet the authors, Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock, together with tours of the Quinta. We will also have copies of the book available to buy at a discounted special price, the books are not yet available to buy locally.

This is the first comprehensive identification guide to the rich Mediterranean flora of the Algarve region of southern Portugal, including the Cape St. Vincent Peninsula National Park, an area of immense botanical importance with numerous endemic and rare species. The Algarve is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe and this guide is the essential companion for wildlife tourists, and the first comprehensive easy-to-use identification guide to its wild flowers.

Information is provided on where and when to see plants with information on their habitat and vegetation types. In addition rare and unusual plants of the region are highlighted, including orchids and parasitic plants. With over 1,000 species descriptions, the book is abundantly illustrated throughout with over 650 stunning colour photographs, 780 line drawings and distribution maps.

Field Guide to the Wildflowers of the Algarve, by Chris Thorogood and Simon Hiscock
(Kew Publishing 2014) ISBN 978 1 84246 497 7

Directions to Quinta da Figueirinha are available on
Author information
Chris Thorogood studied parasitic plant biology for his PhD at the University of Bristol where he then worked as a postdoctoral researcher. Chris has taught field courses to university students with Simon Hiscock in the Algarve since 2006, during which time they documented the flora of the region, and he currently studies the flora of the western Mediterranean basin and has a particular interest in parasitic plant speciation.

Simon Hiscock is Professor of Botany in the Biological Sciences Department, University of Bristol and Director of the University of Bristol Botanic Garden. He has lead botanical field courses in the Algarve since 2002 and his main areas of research include plant evolutionary genetics and plant reproduction.

We will also be holding our first AGM for the newly registered Mediterranean Gardening Association – Portugal on Saturday April 5th at Quinta da Figueirinha and all are very welcome to come along.
Web site:
All are welcome to join us for this very special opportunity to meet the authors and tour Quinta da Figueirinha with guided wildflower walks.

Further information from

This link takes you to a list of wild flowers with photos for the Algarve – Some of the most enduring images of the Algarve for those who visit in spring and early summer (from January through to the end of May) are the displays of wildflowers. They are everywhere, from the clifftops which tower over the beaches, through the barrocal (the coastal strip behind the Algarve’s magnificent beaches), in the river valleys and right up into the mountain pastures and woodlands. Every little bit of uncondsidered roadside land is home to numerous species of these tough and opportunistic plants.

This site will help you identify plants, trees and shrubs. There is also information on good areas to view orchids and wild flowers walks.

One of the glories of the Algarve winter is the appearance over the Christmas period of the paperwhite Narcissus. This fragrant bulb provides multi- bloom heads of star like small white flowers. Narcissus papyraceus is the Algarve native which is frequently seen in damp ground, along stream banks and  amongst rocks in the Barrocal. It is familiar as the bulb sold for forcing into flower in time for Christmas but grows well in Algarve gardens, being the ideal candidate for dry gardening, bulbs give of the their best over the winter and then disappearing for the hot summer months.

Another wonderful winter native flower is the clematis which is dormant all summer, some would say ugly and dead looking ! Clematis cirrhosa produces small green shiny finely divided fern-like leaves in response to the first autumn rains but is normally evergreen in northern gardens. The flowers swiftly follow, small creamy flowers with maroon spotting to varying degrees  and prolific all along the climbing stems. Silky seed heads add to the show later on.  It is believed that this was introduced into gardens in Great Britain as early as about 1590 and it was grown by John Gerard of  ‘Herbal’  fame.

Our first opportunity to go out and about in our own garden and the surrounding hills was a glorious reminder of the huge diversity of spring flowers – and orchids – which populate the wilder areas of the south of Portugal. Enjoy !