Plaça de Sencelles
Within the district of Sencelles you will discover different habitats, that is to say different spaces that are due to their location, the type of soil, the microclimate or their specific vegetation.
Through this chosen route, in which landscapes are intertwined, you will learn about the plants that inhabit these corners, a biodiversity that over time has made up the district´s scenery. Recognizing these plants will help you to interpret the environmental conditions or the landscape´s history.
Walking along the paths of our district, we will easily discover along the sides of paths and uncultivated places a set of thorny plants that weave dense bushes. We find shrubs from the Rosaceae family such as the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), or the common hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) or the blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius). Other types of plants we find are lianas and vines such as the sarsaparilla or Moorish bramble (Smilax aspera), wild madder (Rubia peregrina), Mediterranean honeysuckle (Lonicera implexa), traveler’s joy (Clematis vitalba) or the fragrant virgin’s bower (Clematis flammula).
The type of forest that predominates in our environment is the pine grove. A type of forest formed mainly by the Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis). Since it has the ability to adapt to any type of terrain, it has taken over much of the land where previously holm oaks once grew.
Human intervention in the Mallorcan Plain has been transforming the landscape by cultivating crop fields and pastures where once holm oaks grew and have now retroceded, giving way to pine forests and garrigues that are favored by the warmer and sunnier environmental conditions of the island.
Fields and paths
A walk in the bloom of spring is an experience that stimulates all the senses, the floral richness present in the fields and paths is shown through a great diversity of colors and shapes. In spring, the pink colors of the mallows (Malva spp), the yellows of the golden fleece (Urospermum dalechampii), the whites and yellows of the crown daisies (Chrysanthemum coronarium), the blues of the bad-smelling clover (Bituminaria bituminosa) and the reds from the luscious poppies (Papaver rhoeas). Once summer has arrived, contrasting with the golden fields, here are some of the flowers that catch one’s eye; the large umbels of the wild carrot (Daucus carota), the scabious (Scabiosa atro purpurea) or the bluebells of the common carrot (Convolvulus arvensis).
Walls and Dry-Stone walls
If you look carefully at the dry-stone walls along the paths and the walls of buildings as you are walking, you will observe that these are also habitats that shelter life, if the right conditions are met.
This life is possible thanks to the peat that accumulates between the fissures of the rocks. We find succulent plants such as the sedum (Sedum spp.) or the navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris) on the dry stone walls of our paths. We can also find spreading pellitory(Parietaria judaica) or picardia (Cymbalaria aequitriloba). However, what draws our attention are the ferns such as the polypody (Polypodium cambricum) or what we call maidenhair (Adiantum capillus-veneris) also from the fern family. They tend to inhabit shady and cool places, such as the entrances of cisterns and wells.
Oak groves are the most characteristic type of forest on our island. It is an area covered mainly by evergreen oaks (Quercus ilex), which with the density of their branches create a cool, shady and humid microclimate, conditions that favour the accumulation of humus.
The holm oaks are considered a climatic habitat in Mallorca. If humans had not interfered with nature, plants would develop to form this type of habitat and be favored by environmental conditions, and probably would have occupied most of the island´s interior.
As an undergrowth species, we find shrubs such as the Moorish myrtle (Ruscus aculeatus), a protected plant on our islands, sarsaparilla or Moorish bramble (Smilax aspera), mastic (Pistacia Lentiscus), endemic species such as Balearic cyclamen (Cyclamen balearicum) or mushrooms “blavas” (Russula insignis).
The Garrigue and Wild Olive Groves
The wild olive grove is a type of habitat in which bushes such as the wild olive tree (Olea europaea var. sylvestris) predominates, they often grow in areas that have been degraded by humans, giving rise to a terrain of garrigue or chaparral. The vegetation of the garrigue is formed in areas with high aridity and are hot and dry. Here two trees predominate: the carob tree (Ceratonia siliqua) and the wild olive (Olea europaea var. sylvestris). We find shrubby undergrowth species such as Mediterranean buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus), heather (Erica multiflora), rockrose (Cistus albidus) or Montpelier rockrose (Cistus monspeliensis). We can also find several species of orchids (Ophrys spp.) and the largest orchid on the island, the giant or long bracted orchid (Barlia robertiana).
Torrents and Wetlands
There are three torrents that run through Sencelles, and during most of the year they are dry but coming the rainy season water passes through them. These are; the Torrent de Solleric, Torrent de Pina or Montuïri and the Torrent del Almedrà.
The vegetation of these habitats is very different from what we find in the rest of the landscape, since the microclimate formed due to the shade of the trees and the humidity, favors the presence of characteristic plants such as the narrow-leaved ash (Fraxinus angustifolia), thorny shrubs such as the common rose bush (Rosa semervirens), rush (Scirpus holoschoenus) or herbaceous plants plantain (Plantago major), pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) or hemlock (Conium maculatum). It is also common to find exotic species that have adapted to this habitat, such as the perennial herb Phyla filiformes or the castor bean (Ricinus communis).