Doing a tour in Montjuïc few days ago, we were trying to find some lace bugs under the bark of a London plane, but instead of insects we came across a couple of these very small and secretive arachnids. Continue reading
The commonest tree by far in Barcelona is the London plane (Platanus x acerifolia), a hybrid of Turkish and American ancestors. It is tolerant of atmospheric pollution which it deals with by constantly shedding its flaky bark – itself a way its wild relatives combat parasites. Peel off their bark and you may find tiny Sycamore lace bugs (Corythucha ciliata), gorgeously intricate under the magnifying glass, although these pests suck on the tree’s sap and lead to its early death.
“Corythucha.ciliata.1” by I, Sarefo. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
The German naturalist Emil Adolf Rossmässler visted Barcelona in March 1856 on his study trip around Spain. Here he expalins why palm trees were still struggled in the city. Coming at the end of the so-called Little Ice Age temperatures were still too low.
Palm trees still do not trust Barcelona. On Palm Sunday I found thick ice in Pedralbes at midday in the shade of a house. [Elsewhere] in the botanical garden, a date palm struggled even though there was a protected corner. From “Recuerdos de un viajero por España de Emil Adolf Rossmassler”
See aslo The tallest palm tree in Barcelona