E. F. (Edward Frederick) Kelaart.

Flora calpensis; contributions to the botany and topography of Gibraltar, and its neighbourhood online

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cephalum, Linaria amethystina, Nepeta tuberosa,
Statice emarginata, Aristolochia mauritanica, Ceras-



OF GIBRALTAR. 59

tiuin gibraltaricum, and Melica aspera. In the crevices
of the rock and caves in this neighbourhood he will
find Umbilicus pendulinus, Asplenium trichomanes,
Ceterach officinarum, &c. On ascending the Medi-
terranean stairs, he will observe Helichrysum rupestre,
Jasione montana, Scilla peruviana, Iberis gibraltarica;
and in this locality he will also gather the beautiful
Iris filnolia of Boissier.

It will be fruitless for me to attempt giving a
lengthened account of the vegetation of the different
localities ; this can be better understood by referring
to the Synopsis of Plants ; however, I shall now pro-
ceed to give briefly a general view of the vegetation
of the lower parts of the rock.

On Europa-flat is situated the mess-room of the
regiment stationed on Windmill-hill; on the most
southern point is a lighthouse, recently erected. This
part of the rock contains but few shrubs, and upon
the whole there are not here many species. The
most common species are Momordica Elaterium, Or-
nithogalum umbellatum, Morsea sisyrinchium, Aspho-
delus fistulosus, and Glaucium luteum. A little
further on, are found in great abundance, the Statice
sinuata, Anthyllis tetraphylla, Ixia Bulbocodium,
Ononis serrata, Buphthalmum maritimum. On the
slopes below he will find the beautiful Senecio minu-
tus, and several species of Medicago and Lotus.
Above the road is situated the governor's cottage, a
delightful summer residence ; behind this building
are several interesting plants, and among them is a
species of Iris which has not yet been identified.



60 BOTANY

The road from Europa leads to a romantic little
place, called Glenrocky, near Europa-pass, on which
is situated the house now occupied by the chief
justice ; a pretty little garden is attached to it, and
the ivy and aloe cover most part of the rock surround-
ing it. In this neighbourhood, on the other side of
the road, grows Narcissus niveus ; and early in au-
tumn the Colchicum is also seen here. We now pass
large plantations of Agave americana. A few houses
are here scattered, and surrounded by small but neat
gardens. On the side of the rock, in this locality,
grows, in great abundance, Sempervivum arboreum.
Keeping the high road, we come to the residence of
Mr. Bracebridge, who has several acres of his land
cultivated with flowers of the choicest kinds ; and here
grows a gigantic fig-tree, which is well worth the
stranger's attention. Adjoining this garden is the
residence of the captain of the port. The house has
been lately rebuilt, but it has no claims to architectu-
ral merit. The grounds around it are certainly spa-
cious, and planted with some taste, considering the
small extent of the rock. On these grounds grow
many stately old trees, among which is a beautiful
specimen of Magnolia. A variety of plants is found
at the back of these premises, such as Linaria lani-
gera, Lotus angustifolius, Fumaria capreolata, Pallenis
spinosa, &c. Descending the Windmill-road, a
long flight of steps leads to the road which communi-
cates with the Naval Hospital and South Pavilions.
On these steps I gathered Coronopus jdidyma ; and
on the side walls were a few elegant specimens



OF GIBRALTAR. 61

of Lactuca tenerrima, whose light lilac flowers attract
general attention nearly throughout the summer, the
flowers appearing even long after the leaves have
died. On reaching the Naval Hospital, an open
space of ground is seen hefore it, shaded by fine spe-
cimens of Phytolacca dioica. Under the most shel-
tered one may be seen a seat reserved for the use of
the medical officers of this large establishment, who,
after their morning labours, usually assemble here,
when the junior officers learn from the lips of one or
the other senior surgeons the result of their expe-
rience at the bedside of the sick soldier. Those
who are botanically inclined, will find in this neigh-
bourhood a small but interesting field to explore ; and
perhaps they cannot find a pursuit more likely to
benefit and at the same time to amuse them, after
leaving their respective wards, than to study the
beauties of even the few flowers within the walls of
the hospital. On the grassy surface is a variety of
Medicago and Lotus ; and on the walls and sides of
the rock are seen Iberis gibraltarica, Linaria tristis,
Campanula mollis, Buphthalmum maritimum, and the
lofty Sempervivum arboreum. Andryala integrifolia
and a few specimens of the Solanum sodomeum may
also be seen in this locality. The available spaces in
the South-district are all densely cultivated with vege-
tables, flowers, &c. The soil is very productive,
consisting of a vegetable mould, highly impregnated
with animal matter, of which there is never a deficiency
in Gibraltar.

The road from the town which leads to the galle-



64 BOTANY

congenial to his tastes. On descending by a lower
road from the signal-station, two or three small apolo-
gies for farms are passed ; and just above the middle
part of the town is the elegant residence of Dr. Bur-
row, the archdeacon of Gibraltar, who has, with great
taste and horticultural skill, laid out the garden sur-
rounding the " palace" with rare and beautiful trees.
I doubt not that he lias ere this succeeded in natural-
izing some of the plants which grew from seeds sent
to me by my friends in Ceylon ; indeed, before I left
the rock, I had the pleasure of seeing several orna-
mental plants of that " garden of flowers" thriving as
well as they can be expected to do in Gibraltar. The
stranger could scarcely picture to himself a good gar-
den in Gibraltar ; but there are several, even in the
town, which may come under this designation. The
extent of some of these would perhaps surprise him ;
among the principal ones are, the gardens attached to
the quarters occupied by the colonels of artillery and
engineers; the garden belonging to the celebrated
wine-merchant, Mr. Glynn ; the one just mentioned,
belonging to the archdeacon ; and, the largest of all,
the convent garden. In the South-district there are
several very excellent flower-gardens ; the one at-
tached to the Alameda is under the particular care of
Captain Pogson, the garrison quarter-master, to whom
indeed much credit is due for the excellent preserva-
tion and increasing beauty of the Alameda ; and it is
surprising how much has been done, with so little
pecuniary means at his command. Mr. Danino's
nursery, though not very extensive, is kept in good



OF GIBRALTAR. 65

order. Most of the civil public officers have small
gardens attached to their houses ; the principal ones
are those of the judge, attorney-general, and regis-
trar of the supreme court. Besides flower-gardens,
there are several large spots of ground, in various
parts of the rock, cultivated with vegetables, but not
in sufficient quantities to supply the whole market;
two-thirds of the articles sold there are supplied from
Barbary, and the adjoining parts of Spain. To visit
the market early in the morning is indeed a treat,
especially during the fruit season : the quantities of
oranges, grapes, melons, figs, &c., piled up in every
stall, is a remarkably pleasing sight ; before evening
comes, the size of these heaps of luscious fruit is
greatly diminished : the quantity sold is almost incre-
dible. The shipping in the bay, which often amounts
to between two and three hundred sail, helps to con-
sume the enormous quantities of fruits and vegetables
seen in the Gibraltar market.

After visiting the market, the botanist will direct
his steps to the neutral ground ; but before he pro-
ceeds a few yards (if he is also an ichthyologist) he
will be glad to meet with so large a collection for
examination as is to be seen on the well-supplied fish-
stalls near the fruit-market. The abundance of fish
in the market of Gibraltar is almost proverbial, and
their variety is still more remarkable : however, I
shall not stop here to inquire into their number, but
confine myself to enumerating a few most commonly
met with, viz. the Zeus faber, Pleuronectes solea,
Mullus barbatus, Clupea encrasicolus, two species of

F



66 BOTANY

Scomber, the Muraena anguilla, and Sepia octopus.
The most favourite kinds are the John Dorees, red
surmullets, anchovies, and sardines, especially the
three latter, which are to he had in great perfection,
and are exceedingly cheap. A pennyworth of fish is
sufficient for a moderate-sized family ; the poorer
classes rarely eat any other animal food.

Ayala, a Spanish writer, in his interesting ' History
of Gibraltar/ mentions that an extensive tunny-fishery
was rented to the city of Gibraltar for 10,000 mara-
vedies, though now this fish is not at all common in
the Mediterranean ; whereas, some centuries ago,
ships were loaded with them from neighbouring ports,
and the fishery afforded a large revenue to the state.
" Above all things," says Portillo (quoted by Ayala),
" is there in Gibraltar a great abundance of fish ;
that from thence great part of Andalusia is supplied
with carriers, who, to get a load of fish, carry there
one of bread or oil ; as are also Malaga, Almeria,
and the neighbouring towns."* Even in the present
day, large quantities of preserved anchovies and sar-
dines are exported from Gibraltar.

The botanist, after having gratified his taste for
fishes, will pass through the Puerta de la Tierra, and
find himself outside the rock of Gibraltar. On the
left is the bay, which at this part has extensive oyster-
beds, reserved for the Gibraltar market. The lagoon
(see Ayala), now turned into a kind of moat, called the

* See Mr. Bell's excellent translation of Ayala's work,
just published by Pickering.



OF GIBRALTAR. 67

" inundation," contains large quantities of sea-weed ;
the removal of which is almost the constant occupation
of several men, as its accumulation rapidly increases,
and it is very liable to putrefy, the water in this reservoir
being a mixture of rain and sea-water. Ruppia ros-
tellata, and a species of Potamogeton, are found in
this basin. On a small bank to the right may yet
remain a few specimens of Lotus tetragonolobus,
Physalis somnifera, Datura Metel, and Silene vesper-
tina. It was here that I gathered the Centaurea solsti-
tialis, which might have been introduced, as this bank
is a depository for rubbish. The glacis in this neigh-
bourhood is covered with Cucubalus behen, and a
variety of grasses, among which are Dactylis hispa-
nica, and Hordeum murinum.

Passing along the moat, after leaving the bay-side
guard, a road to the right leads to Catalan-bay, almost
round the northern side of the rock, which has lately
been extensively quarried for stones to erect the new
works ; at the same time making this part of the rock
more inaccessible to the enemy. On the left of the
road is the neutral ground, and near its edge are
found fields of Ranunculus bullatus, and R. flabella-
tus : later in summer these are succeeded by the large
variety of Thrincia hirta. The road to the bay ter-
minates in a bridle-path, cut through the sandy bank,
which extends for more than half-a-mile eastward, and
in a crescentic-shaped part is situated the small vil-
lage, seen now from the highest part of the road. On
this bank grow, in great abundance, Ononis ramo-
sissima, Delphinium peregrinum, and Matthiola Brous-

F 2



66 BOTANY

Scomber, the Muraena anguilla, and Sepia octopus.
The most favourite kinds are the John Dorees, red
surmullets, anchovies, and sardines, especially the
three latter, which are to be had in great perfection,
and are exceedingly cheap. A pennyworth of fish is
sufficient for a moderate-sized family ; the poorer
classes rarely eat any other animal food.

Ayala, a Spanish writer, in his interesting ' History
of Gibraltar/ mentions that an extensive tunny-fishery
was rented to the city of Gibraltar for 10,000 mar a-
vedies, though now this fish is not at all common in
the Mediterranean ; whereas, some centuries ago,
ships were loaded with them from neighbouring ports,
and the fishery afforded a large revenue to the state.
" Above all things," says Portillo (quoted by Ayala),
" is there in Gibraltar a great abundance of fish ;
that from thence great part of Andalusia is supplied
with carriers, who, to get a load of fish, carry there
one of bread or oil ; as are also Malaga, Almeria,
and the neighbouring towns."* Even in the present
day, large quantities of preserved anchovies and sar-
dines are exported from Gibraltar.

The botanist, after having gratified his taste for
fishes, will pass through the Puerta de la Tierra, and
find himself outside the rock of Gibraltar. On the
left is the bay, which at this part has extensive oyster-
beds, reserved for the Gibraltar market. The lagoon
(see Ayala), now turned into a kind of moat, called the

* See Mr. Bell's excellent translation of Ayala's work,
just published by Pickering.



OF GIBRALTAR. 67

" inundation/' contains large quantities of sea-weed ;
the removal of which is almost the constant occupation
of several men, as its accumulation rapidly increases,
and it is very liable to putrefy, the water in this reservoir
being a mixture of rain and sea-water. Ruppia ros-
tellata, and a species of Potamogeton, are found in
this basin. On a small bank to the right may yet
remain a few specimens of Lotus tetragonolobus,
Physalis somnifera, Datura Metel, and Silene vesper-
tina. It was here that I gathered the Centaurea solsti-
tialis, which might have been introduced, as this bank
is a depository for rubbish. The glacis in this neigh-
bourhood is covered with Cucubalus behen, and a
variety of grasses, among which are Dactylis hispa-
nica, and Hordeum murinum.

Passing along the moat, after leaving the bay-side
guard, a road to the right leads to Catalan-bay, almost
round the northern side of the rock, which has lately
been extensively quarried for stones to erect the new
works ; at the same time making this part of the rock
more inaccessible to the enemy. On the left of the
road is the neutral ground, and near its edge are
found fields of Ranunculus bullatus, and R. flabella-
tus : later in summer these are succeeded by the large
variety of Thrincia hirta. The road to the bay ter-
minates in a bridle-path, cut through the sandy bank,
which extends for more than half-a-mile eastward, and
in a crescentic-shaped part is situated the small vil-
lage, seen now from the highest part of the road. On
this bank grow, in great abundance, Ononis ramo-
sissima, Delphinium peregrinum, and Matthiola Brous-

F 2



68 BOTANY

sonetii. At distant intervals may be seen the delicate
Linaria amethystea, and L. pedunculata. Proceeding
on further, this path descends, and its right side be-
comes rocky : on the edges of these rocks are found
large masses of Statice emarginata, and Crithmum
maritimum ; and in their fissures is seen the beautiful
Linaria villosa. Having gained the little fishing
village, one might rest here a while, and see the
fishermen drawing in their nets, and no doubt their
contents will also be interesting to the naturalist.
After this little variety he must be prepared to walk
through nearly ankle- deep sand, in order to reach
the small sandy bay beyond the village ; and having
arrived there, he will scarcely find more than a dozen
plants, such as Medicago marina, Pancratium mariti-
mum, Salsola rosacea, &c. On some of the blocks of
limestone may be seen handsome clusters of the
Adiantuni Capillus-Veneris. This little bay is ro-
mantically situated facing the Mediterranean, but it
is not inhabited, and only resorted to by pic-nic
parties, and fishing-boats put in there occasionally.
The sandy deposits are here distinctly stratified, and
hardened evidently by calcareous infiltrations. There
is no passage to lead the botanist to the other side of
the rock ; he must retrace his steps to the neutral
ground, where he will find a number of plants which
he has not seen on the rock.

The greater part of the sandy isthmus belonging to
the garrison is covered with good turf, on which,
during the race-weeks, may be seen some fine speci-
mens of Andalusian horses. The race-course is at



OF GIBRALTAR. 69

this time a very animated scene : here are found the
Spaniards, in their national costume ; and to afford a
little variety a race is run by horses ridden by their
Spanish masters, not dressed as jockeys but in their
native garbs. On a late occasion, even the comman-
dant of the Spanish lines was seen taking an active
part in the emulative spirit of his countrymen. The
scene is rendered still more interesting by the
presence of well-dressed Spanish women, in their
graceful mantillas, seated on gaily painted Spanish
calecas. The race-stand, though small, contains
also a choice collection of Spanish and English ladies
and gentlemen, taking evidently a very animated
interest in the exciting pleasures of the turf. The
cricket-matches also go off on these grounds. Upon
the whole, without this part of the isthmus, the rock
of Gibraltar would afford to the inhabitants but a very
small space for recreation and healthful exercise.
What indeed would Gibraltar be to the large number
of gentlemen of this garrison, if they had neither
races, hunting, nor cricketing ? However, I must no
longer exhaust the patience of the botanist with these
desultory matters, but hasten to tell him a little of
the beauties which vegetable nature presents on this
anything but neutral ground.

The governor, town-major, and I believe the town-
adjutant, have small portions of this land allotted to
them, which are used for various useful purposes, and
where also a few flowers and vegetables are culti-
vated. A large space is rented out to gardeners,
who make the best use of the land by cultivating all



70 BOTANY

sorts of vegetables : the soil is richly manured with
the refuse from the garrison, which unfortunately
makes this place very unpleasant to the olfactory
organs. On the uncultivated parts grow a variety of
beautiful plants, such as the Muscari comosum, Ero-
dium moschatum, Verbena officinalis, Centaurea
calcitrapa, &c. Later in summer these are replaced
by the curious Tribulus terrestris, and the not less
interesting Euphorbia Chamresyce. On the eastern
side, where the soil is more sandy, the Picridium tin-
gitanum is found in great abundance, as also a few
specimens of the Eryngium ilicifolium and Caucalis
maritima ; both these plants are more frequently
met with beyond the line of British sentries. Near a
damp place, about twenty yards from the middle part
of the vegetable-garden, may be seen a large collection
of Mentha Pulegium var. tomentella : no doubt this
plant was called by Willdenow M. Gibraltarica, from
seeing it grow here. Bentham, the celebrated autho-
rity on this tribe of plants, has shown it to be only a
variety of the M. Pulegium. Cichorium Intybus, or
divaricatum, grows here in great abundance, as also
Mentha rotundifolia. The vegetation on the western
side of this part of the isthmus presents a somewhat
different character ; very few plants which grow on
the other side are found here, whereas Euphorbia
Paralias, Erodium cicutarium, and Glaucium luteum
supply their place. The same remarkable difference
is observed on the real neutral-ground, beyond the
localities just described. On the eastern side, the
soil being nearly composed of sea-sand, scarcely



OF GIBRALTAR. 71

eighteen species are found ; the prevailing ones being
Pancratium maritimum, Ononis variegata, Picridium
tingitanum,Cachrys Pterochlaena (which covers nearly
one-fourth of both sides of the neutral-ground*), and
Silene nicaeensis. On the western side, the sand
being thinly covered with soil, and also being much
lower than on the eastern side, contains, in addition
to the plants just enumerated, several other kinds
equally interesting, such as Juncus acutus, Cyperus
badius, Ononis natrix, O. reclinata, and several sorts
of grasses, among which are found the beautiful
Festuca Alopecurus, and the singular Schoenus mu-
cronatus.

Till very lately it has not been the good fortune of
any of the medical officers of the garrison to spend a
night on the neutral-ground, and it is to be hoped
that the opportunities which are now afforded will be
taken advantage of, and that a series of hygrometric
observations will be made, and all atmospherical phe-
nomena recorded. The temperature of the neutral-
ground, especially during night, is often as much as
five degrees less than in the town. A moonlight view
of the rock, from the old north-front guard (where by
turn, in common with the other medical officers of the
garrison, have I spent some delightful hours), is
indeed a sight well worth being shut out of the garri-
son to be enabled to see, and is a full compensation

* This is that remarkable umbelliferous plant, the abun-
dance of which fails not to attract the attention of the
most indifferent.



72 BOTANY OF GIBRALTAR.

for the few hours spent by professional men on
guard.*

I have now to apologize to the reader for confining
myself, in this botanical sketch, to the limits of the
neutral-ground, hoping, in another part of the work,
to satisfy his further curiosity ; and I take this oppor-
tunity, in presenting the following list of Gibraltar
plants, to acknowledge most thankfully the interest
shown by several botanical Mends in this undertaking.

Sir William Hooker I have to thank for the gene-
rous manner in which he so kindly permitted me the
use of his valuable collection ; and his son, Dr. Hoo-
ker (the learned author of the FLORA ANTARCTICA),
for his able assistance in settling the specific charac-
ters of some rare plants. I am also under similar
obligations to Dr. Lemann, Mr. Bennet, of the British
Museum, and Mr. Kippist, of the Linnean Society ;
and the interest shown by Mr. Robert Brown, is not
likely to be effaced from the memory of one of his
humble admirers.

* Previous to Sir Robert Wilson's government, nearly
600 people, living on the neutral-ground and at Catalan-bay,
were totally unprovided with medical advice on the spot.
The governor having seen the inconvenience of disturbing
the authorities to open the gates, perhaps at dead of night,
has very considerately placed a medical officer, at night,
on one of the guards, to meet any casualties which may
occur during the hours the gates are closed.



PART III.
SYNOPSIS OF PLANTS



1 Despise not thou the wild flower ! - Small it seems.
And of neglected growth, and its light bells
Hang carelessly on every passing gale :
Yet it is finely wrought, and colours there
Might shame the Tyriau purple ; and it bears
Marks of a care eternal and divine.
Duly the dews descend to give it food ;
The sun revives it drooping, and the showers
Add to its beauty ; and the airs of heaven
Are round it for delight."



" Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow ; they toil not, neither do they
spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not
arrayed like one of these."



PART III.
SYNOPSIS OF PLANTS.



DICOTYLEDONES.*

RANUNCULACE^:, Jus*.

Clematis cirrhosa, L.

Cl. semitriloba, Lag. Gen. et Sp.

Hab. Portugal, Spain, Corsica, Italy. Barbary. Syria.

OBS. Grows in great profusion on the declivities of the rock,
opposite the Alameda, and in hedges along the high road to
Europa-point.



Ranunculus bullatus, L.
R. autumnalis, Clus.

Hab. South of Europe. Barbary.

Ranunculus flabellatus, Desf.

R. Chcerophyllos, var. p.jftabellatus, Boiss.

Hab. Mediterranean regions. Portugal. Asia Minor.
Barbary.

OBS. Both species are found in some abundance on the neutral-
ground and Spanish race-course.

* Where no particular locality is mentioned, it is to be understood
that the plant is found in more than one part of the rock.



76 SYNOPSIS OF

Ranunculus blepharicarpos, Boiss.
Boiss. tab. 1, A.
jR. monspeliacus, Desf.
Hab. South of Spain, Portugal. Barbary.

OBS. Found on Europa-flat, near the artillery-barracks, by Dr.
Lemann.

Nigella damascena, L.

Hab. South of Europe. North of Africa. Canary Isles.
OBS. N. Hispanica is found near St. Roque.



Delphinium peregrinum, L. cut

Var. a. confertum, Boiss. Kami abbreviati, ra-
cemi conferti, pedicelli calcare breviores.

Var. 0. longipes, Boiss. D. longipes, Moris. Ka-
mi elongati, flores distantes, pedicelli elongati,
bractea calcareque longiores.

Hab. South of Europe. Palestine.

OBS. These two varieties, though considered by some bota-


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Online LibraryE. F. (Edward Frederick) KelaartFlora calpensis; contributions to the botany and topography of Gibraltar, and its neighbourhood → online text (page 5 of 13)