Flora from our finca Navasola and inspiration for writing Call of the Wild Valley. These are mentioned in the early chapters and towards the end of the novel the role of the wild peony is very important.

 Wild Peony - Peony broteri is the flower Buff the buff-tailed bumble bee loves. It has a wide open structure that pollinators can easily enter into unlike many of the cultivated garden varieties. It seems to survive the digging and ploughing of the wild boar. It has many herbal healing properties but its roots are poisonous. It is a favourite for bumble bees and their 'buzz pollination' style which on landing creates a lot of pollen dust that is more easily distributed around to other flowers and onto a variety of insects.

Wild peony buds in April and May through to flower with lots of pollen and nectar for many different pollinators to starry seeds forms in late summer

Other flora includes Arbutus Unedo, madrono in Spanish and strawberry tree as one of its English names. It is home to the large and grand Two Tailed Pasha butterfly  among many other species. It is a native plant/tree of this fringe Mediterranean area.

TwoTailed Pasha butterfly, Charax jasius, lays its eggs on the evergreen madrono, these hatch into an almost monstrous looking caterpillar that likes to munch on the tough leathery evergreen leaves of Arbutus unedo, and when ready forms a chrysalis that can over winter. In late Spring/early summer this large and beautiful butterfly emerges. But she has from our human point of view rather disgusting tastes. She extracts minerals from the faeces and urine of certain mammals like foxes. And is also fond of rotting fruit.
Next is the wild viburnum, Viburnum tinus. It can flower from early January through to late Spring. It seems to flourish here in the long dry season without any extra help. In the Autumn there are the purple black berries. These are bitter tasting but hungry mammals and birds might be grateful of eating some if other resources are scarce. The weasel Comadrito knows this and although not keen on the berries likes the young growths of viburnum as it creates an understory he can hide within.

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