Black hawthorn (Rhamnus lycioides)
It is an evergreen species (1 to 2 m high) with tangled thorny branches and a greyish bark. Its leaves are toughened and arranged in an alternating way. They have a somewhat oval and elongated shape, their edge is full and they can be densely covered with white fur. The flowers are often solitary (sometimes grouped in clusters). They are of a green colour, from fair green to yellowish, and the corolla is formed by four rudimentary petals sometimes absent. The fruit is a drupe (fleshy fruit with a single pit, like a plum), red at the beginning and black when ripe. It contains two or three oval brown seeds.
WHERE DOES IT LIVE?
It grows from sea level to the medium mountain, bearing in mid-arid to sub-humid environments. It develops in scrubs, among kermes oaks forests, cleared pine forests and other types of bushy masses. It can stand calcareous and siliceous grounds. It is common in crags.
HOW DOES IT LIVE?
It is a dioecious species (flowers with sexes separated on different plants). Flowering occurs in spring, between March and June. The flowers are pollinated by small insects, mainly diptera (flies) and hymenoptera (bees and similar insects). Sometimes, they can also be pollinated by the wind. Fruiting occurs from summer to the beginning of autumn and the dispersion is made by the fauna ingesting this fruit.
WHERE CAN WE SEE IT IN THE MALAGA PROVINCE?
It is a very common species in Málaga. It is present in the Tejeda and Almijara mountain ranges, the north-eastern mountains of the province, the Ronda mountain range and in many coastal saws. In the Great Path (Gran Senda), we can observe it on stages 3, 4 and 12 to 16, 31 and 33 to 34.
It is mainly used in forest restoration and development. It has a great value for birds, providing shelter, nesting places and food. That is why it proves to be a very valuable species in natural areas (parks and protected spaces), urban and peri-urban parks.
It can be confused with the other black hawthorn Rhamnus oleoides. It is slightly different, most of all for its leaves, which are wider, of a more intense green colour and lacking white fur.
Routes where it can be observed
- GR 249. Stage 03. Vélez-Málaga - Torrox
- GR 249. Stage 04. Torrox - Nerja
- GR 249. Stage 12. Villanueva del Rosario - Archidona
- GR 249. Stage 13. Archidona - Villanueva de Tapia
- GR 249. Stage 14. Villanueva de Tapia - Villanueva de Algaidas
- GR 249. Stage 15. Villanueva de Algaidas - Cuevas Bajas
- GR 249. Stage 16. Cuevas Bajas - Alameda
- GR 249. Stage 31. Marbella - Ojén
- GR 249. Stage 33. Mijas - Benalmádena
- GR 249. Stage 34. Benalmádena - Alhaurín de la Torre