Included here is the Iberian Peninsula comprising the countries of Spain and Portugal.

Iberian Salt Steppe

Large areas along the coast of the eastern Costa del Sol and up to altitudes of 700m are characterized by saline conditions in which succulent members of the Chenopodiaceae predominate. Some such as Atriplex glauca and Salsola vermicularis are widespread, while others like Salsola genistoides and S. papillosa are endemic to southern Spain. These particular members of the Chenopodiaceae are frequently parasitized by a couple of strange plants - Cynomorium coccineum (Balanophoraceae), which produces unusual dark reddish-black, club-shaped flowers spikes, and the striking yellow flowered Cistanche phelypaea (Orobanchaceae) This areas also provide habitat for Frankenia corymbosa, Mesembryanthemum crystallinum (a unusual species covered in sparkling crystal-like hairs), and two endemic sea lavenders Limonium furfuracea and the unusual pink flowered Limonium insigne (Plumbaginaceae).


Gómez-Campo, G., Bermúdez-Castro, L., Cagiga, M. J. & Sánchez-Yélamo, M. D. 1984. Endemism in the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands. Webbia, 38: 709-714.

Polunin, O & Smythies, B. E. 1973. Flowers of South-West Europe - a field guide. Oxford University Press.

Polunin, O. & Walters, M. 1985. A guide to the vegetation of Britain and Europe. Oxford University Press.

Smythes, B. E. 1984. Flora of Spain and the Balearic Islands - Checklist of vascular plants. Englera 3(1). Veroffentlichungen aus dem Botanischen Garten und Botanischen Museum. Berlin - Dahlem.