This is an invasive weed that grows directly out of the ground - it has no leaves! Please help me identify it. It is prolific at this time of the year here on the Costa Calida in Spain.
Here is a link that might be useful: Cistanche phelypaea
You are quite right. Thank you very much. Also known as Broomrape.
Invasive weed or fascinating semi-parasitic wild flower? Please think twice before attacking this plant. Note the description at the link 'rare and localised'. I'd love to have this growing on my land.
I too would love to have it.
Thank you for all the interesting comments. I have no intention of attacking the plant, I was just fascinated by it, the way it pops up all over the place here. It is very prolific and can be seen all over the countryside, so definitely not rare here in the south east of Spain! I said it was invasive as it even seems to be able to pop it's flowers up through concrete or tar! They seem to be very strong, resilient plants.
OK - panic over. It was just the terminology used in the heading and the text. Usually when people ask about 'invasive weeds' they are hell bent on destruction ;-)
If the thing is native it can't by definition be invasive, even if just rampant or thuggish. Obviously its locally abundant but could still be rare in wider terms, as the link intimated with the wording. Beautiful photo by the way.
Here is a link that might be useful: Cistanche
Thanks for the clarification, floral_uk. Bad choice of words on my part, then! Perhaps I should have used the word 'rampant' instead.Thanks for the thumbs up on the photo - just taken with my mobile phone whilst on a dog walk! I appreciate the time taken in answering my query and clarifying!
that beautiful green bug sure looks like an emerald ash borer. i would be concerned about that.
Looks more like a tiger beetle.
:-) This gets more interesting all the time! Thanks metasequoiafree and lycopus for your input. I will have another look at the bug. He was so pretty against the yellow flower and I honestly didn't think about the fact that he might be destructive! I presume the ash beetle you refer to attacks ash trees? We don't have an abundance of those here. I think I have seen one or two in gardens around. This photo was taken in the 'campo' (countryside).
I'm pretty sure EAB has not reached Spain ...... yet.
Here is a link that might be useful: EAB in Europe
Definitely not a tiger beetle - as in the active predators that run and fly around in sandy open places, chasing after prey.
I have an ID on the bug! It is Lytta vesicatoria or Spanish Fly! Yes, that;s right!!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_fly Enjoy finding out about it! And thanks again for sending me on a new line of research!