Herbario Virtual del Mediterráneo Occidental

Àrea de Botànica, Departament de Biologia, Universitat de les Illes Balears

What is the western Mediterranean Virtual Herbarium?

The western Mediterranean Virtual Herbarium is a web page born out of the VH of the Balearic Islands. It collects information and a wide gallery of images of the vascular plants in the western Mediterranean basin. This project is led by the Botanical Area of the University of the Balearic Islands (UIB). At present the Universities of Barcelona and Valencia are also participating.

The Virtual Herbarium has been structured in index entries or individual web pages for each vegetable species considered. The most important aim of each entry are the images of the plants; however, a brief information in the form of a text is also included together with the scientific names of the plants both in Catalan and Spanish. The main image has been obtained by scanning a fresh specimen.

Most of the represented species correspond to autochthonous plants, although several cultivated and garden plants have been incorporated, thus, being a useful tool for studious of botany as well as garden and horticulture lovers. The western Mediterranean Virtual Herbarium is a lively project, and like any data bank its value is found in the constant incorporation of new images and information.

The Virtual Herbarium can be looked up in its whole, or either by restriction of the different territories included up to date: the Balearic Islands (Illes Balears),Catalonia (Catalunya), Valencian Community (Comunitat Valenciana).

Use of images

Photographs and text are protected by the author’s rights. However, the users may make a private use of the images, with the possibility of recording and printing the former. Any commercial or electronic use of any other web page is forbidden without the explicit permission of the Botany Department of the UIB (University of the Balearic Islands) (jrita@uib.es, herbarivirtual@terra.es). In the case of authorisation of any image the next citation will be included: Photograph: http://herbarivirtual.uib.es, followed by the author’s name of the photograph, usually corresponding to one of the three universities above-mentioned or the name of a particular author.

Type of images

Two kinds of images can be found, those directly scanned from fresh material and those photographs taken at the countryside. The image size used is that which enables to recognise the main morphological features of the plants, and although it may surpass the size of the monitors in most computers, however, it can be reduced by a image treatment program (e.g. Photoshop).

Structure of WMVH

The design of the web page structure has taken into account two fundamental requirements: simplicity and velocity. The user may reach the required species with only three clicks, avoiding all kinds of covers and banners hampering the opening of the web pages. On the main web page species can be found by their Latin, Catalan and Spanish names. Also, specific sections have been developed to make the followingparticular plant groups stand out:

Protected species- Endemisms

  • Introduced species- Ferns
  • Species per habitats- Orchids
  • Trees of the university campus

A glossary with the definitions and images of botanical terms, a classification key at a family level, a section of links related to this subject and the credits corresponding to all the people involved up to date in the Virtual Herbarium can be also found. Besides, a section of novelties including the more recent incorporations can be found where updates are available to the more loyal users; thus, proving that it is a lively web page constantly extending and improving.

Entry for each species and abbreviations

Each species is followed by a brief information grouped into the following items:

Scientific name: the scientific name of the species is used either following the Flora Iberica (Iberian Flora) criterion (Castroviejo et al. 1986-2005), or that of the Flora dels Països Catalans* (Flora of the Països Catalans) (Bolòs and Vigo 1984-2001),and for the more conflictive cases the decision of the authors of WMVH themselves is considered.

Other flowers used are:

For the endemic Flora of the Balearics: ALOMAR et al. (1997).

  • For parasitic plants: López-Sáez et al. (2002).
  • For toxic and edible plants: BOADA M. & ROMANILLOS T. (1999); LAUNERT E (1980).
  • For introduced plants: MORAGUESRITA (2005), LÓPEZ et al. (2000-2005); SANZ et al. (2004); WALTERS et al. (1990-2000).
  • For trees: COOMBES A.J. (1992); GALÁN et al. (1998); LÓPEZ G. (1982); MORE & WHITE (2005).
  • Botanical dictionaries: FONT QUER (1975); AGUILELLA & PUCHE (2004).
  • Other reference titles: Bolòs et al. (2005); Bonafè F. (1977-1980); BONNER A. (1994); CAO (1996); CLIMENT & GINER (1992); MUS M. (1993); PLA, et al. (1997); POLUNIN O. (1977); RITA J & CARULLA J. (1996); ROSSELLÓ JA & SÁEZ LL (2001); TUTIN T.G. et al. (1976-1993); VICENS G. & BONET B. (2000).

Synonyms: Some of the more frequent synonyms in the literature have been incorporated. Synonyms have been included in the same way as the valid names; however, the link leads to the entry of the valid name.

(*) Group of autonomous communities of eastern Spain where the Catalonian language is spoken

Catalan and Spanish names: The main popular names of the plants appearing in the literature have been collected, the Catalonian popular names used in the Països Catalans being preferred (MASCLANS 1981).

General territory of WMVH: The known distribution of the species in the different territories where WMVH is currently working is considered, i.e., the Balearic Islands, Catalonia and the Valencian Community.

Distribution according to provinces: The options are the following: the Balearic Islands, Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, Tarragona, Castelló, Valencia and Alacant.

General distributions (phytogeography): The distribution cited in the Flora dels Països Catalans (Flora of the Països Catalans) (Bolòs and Vigo 1984-2001) has been followed.

Distributions according to biogeographic sectors (physiography): The distribution cited in the Flora dels Països Catalans(Flora of the Països Catalans) (Bolòs and Vigo 1984-2001) has been also taken into account, which divides the Països Catalans into the following territories (several territories not included in the present work have been added):

  • Betico-setabense
  • Cabrera
  • Celtiberico-alcarrenya
  • Dragonera
  • Ibiza
  • Ebro valley
  • Formentera
  • Maestracense
  • Majorca
  • Manchega
  • Minorca
  • Murcia-almeriense
  • Pyrenees (axial zone)
  • Meridional pre-Pyrenees
  • Septentrional pre- Pyrenees, oriental segment
  • Auso-Segarricterritory
  • Catalanidic territory (central segment)
  • Catalanidic territory (meridional segment )
  • Catalanidic territory (septentrional segment)
  • Dianicterritory
  • Lucenticterritory
  • Mediovalentiterritory
  • Olositanicterritory
  • Ruscinicterritory
  • Serranicterritory
  • Sicoric territory

Habitat: A brief description of the most common habitat occupied by the species is given; however, there is always the possibility of the species appearing in other habitats in a sporadic way.

Autochthonous:Low species or taxons found in their natural distribution area (past or present) and in their distribution potential (i.e., the area occupied in a natural way or which could be occupied without direct or indirect human intervention) (Moragues & Rita, 2005).

Endemic: Related to the taxon with an area restricted to a determined geographic territory (Aguilella & Puche 2004). The following categories have been included: the Balearic Islands, Iberian-Levant, Pyrenees, Pre-Pyrenees.

Microareal: Reduced distribution species but not restricted to only one territory found within the WMVH domain. For example, species only found in the Balearics and in precise locations of the eastern Iberian Peninsula.

Tirrenean: This definition applies to vegetables living on the western Mediterranean islands (GymnasienIslands, PineIslands, HyèresIslands, Corsica, Sardinia, Tuscan Archipelago and even the small islands near the coast of Sicily) which exceptionally reach the ItalianPeninsula (Alomar et al., 1997).

Introduced: Low species or taxons which, due to intentional or accidental intervention of man, are found in a territory outside their natural distribution area (present or past) and of their potential dispersion area (Moragues & Rita 2005).

Cultivated: Plants sowed by man of a particular use, e.g., edible, medicinal, aromatic, etc. plants.

Protected: Taxons protected by some type of current national, autonomous or European legislation. The protection data laws currently in force are: (1) 92/43/EU Directive (Habitats Directive 1991), (2) the Agreement on the Preservation of Wild Life and Natural Environment (Berna Agreement 1991), (3) the 4/89 Law which through 439/90 Royal Decree creates the Balearic Catalogue of the Threatened Vegetable Species and (4) the 75/05 Decree which creates the Balearic Catalogue of Threatened Vegetable Species and of Special Protection of the Balearics. Used references: Alomar et al. 1993; Mus 1993; Sáez & Rosselló 2001.

Blooming period: The real and precise blooming period will be indicated in months. Data appearing in the Flora dels Països Catalans (Flora of the Països Catalans)(Bolòs and Vigo 1984-2001) has been used as a basis, although corrected according to the WMVH authors’ experience.

  IUCN category: The degree of threatening is indicated by abbreviations according to the category of the International Union for Conservation of Nature: NE (non evaluated), DD (data deficient), LC (least concern), NT (near threatened), V (vulnerable), EN (endangered), CR (criticallyendangered), RE (regionally extinct), EW (extinct in the wild) and EX (extinct) in accordance with the criterion of the Flora Endèmica de les Balears (Endemic Flora of the Balearics) (ALOMAR, et al. 1997) and the Red Book of the Vascular Flora of the Balearic Islands (Flora Vascular de les Illes Balears) (SAEZ & ROSSELLÓ 2001).

Vital form: Corresponds to Raunkier’s vital form following the criterion appearing in the Flora Manual dels Països Catalans (Manual Flora of the Països Catalans) (Bolòs & Vigo 1984-2001).

Characteristics: A brief description of the morphological and ecological features which enable differentiation of a particular species from other taxons.

Parasital plants: The work by López-Saéz et al. 2002 has been followed, thus, distinguishing the next categories:

  • Holoparasites: Plants without chlorophyll, non photosynthetic which obtain water and nutrients from the xylem and phloem of the host.
  • Hemiparasites: Chorophyllic and photosynthetic plants (at least during some part of the vital cycle); however, they obtain water and nutrients through the haustorial connections with the host plant.
  • Microtrophic plants: Plants obtaining hydrocarbons and other nutrients by parasitation of a mycorrhizogen fungus.

Ferns: The group of pteridophytes has been incorporated under this denomination.

Orchids: In this section one mayaccess directly to the species of this family.

Carnivorous:Section including species capturing animals for nourishment purposes.

Uses of the plants: In this section the species used or which have been used by man can be found, classified according to the type of use:









Psychotrophic plant


Symbolic use


Other uses


  • Observations: In this box all the additional information on a particular plant, usually referred to its conservation, ecology or other observations of taxonomic character will be included when necessary.


Bibliographical references.

- AGUILELLA A & PUCHE F. 2004. Diccionari de botànica. Guada Impressors, SL. Universitat de València. España.

- ALOMAR, G. 2003. Les falgueres de les Balears. Quaderns de NATURA de les Balears. Edicions Documenta Balear. Illes Balears.

- ALOMAR, G. MUS, M. ROSSELLÓ, J. A. 1997. Flora Endèmica de les Balears. Ed. Consell Insular de Mallorca. FODESMA. Palma de Mallorca.

- BOADA, M. ROMANILLOS, T. 1999. Les plates tòxiques de Catalunya. Ed. Pòrtic. Esplugues de Llobregat. Barcelona.

- BOLÒS O., VIGO J., Masalles R.M. & Ninot J.M. 2005. Flora Manual dels Països Catalans (3ª Edició Revisada i Ampliada). Ed.Pòrtic s.a. Barcelona.

- BOLÒS, O. VIGO, J. 1984-2001. Flora dels Països Catalans. (tots els vol.). Ed. Barcino. Barcelona.

- BONAFÈ BARCELÓ,F. 1977-1980. Flora de Mallorca. (4 vol.). Ed. Moll. Palma de Mallorca.

- BONNER, A. 1994. Plantes de les Balears. Ed. Moll. Palma de Mallorca

- CAO BARREDO, M. 1996. Les flors de Menorca. GOB Menorca.

- CASTROVIEJO, S. Et al. (eds). 1986-2005. Flora Ibérica. Plantas vasculares de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (tots els vol.). Ed. Real Jardín Botánico-C.S.I.C. Madrid.

- CLIMENT i GINER, D. 1992. Les Nostres Plantes (Una aproximació multidisciplinar al món vegetal de les nostres terres). Ed. Amalgama. Alacant.

- COOMBES A.J. 1992. Manuales de Identificación. ARBOLES. Guía visual de más de 500 especies de árboles de todo el mundo. Ediciones Omega. Barcelona.

- FONT QUER P. 1975. Diccionario de Botánica. Editorial Labor, S.A. Barcelona. España.

- GALÁN, P. et al. 1998. Árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. Ed. Jaguar.

- LAUNERT, E. 1980. Guía de las Plantas Medicinales y Comestibles de España y de Europa. Ed. Omega, S.A. Barcelona.

- LÓPEZ A., TRIGO M.M., ARGIMON DE VILARDAGA X & SÁNCHEZ DE LORENZO J.M. 2000-2005. Flora ornamental Española (vol. I-IV). Coordinado por Sánchez de Lorenzo J.M. Ediciones Mundi-Prensa. Junta de Andalucía. Consejería de Agricultura y Pesca. España.

- LÓPEZ GONZALEZ, G. 1982. La Guía INCAFO de los Árboles y Arbustos de la Peninsula Ibérica. INCAFO. Madrid.

- LÓPEZ-SÁEZ J.A., CATALÁN P. & SÁEZ LL. 2002. Plantas Parásitas de la PENÍNSULA Ibérica e Islas Baleares. Ediciones Mundi-Prensa. Madrid.

- MASCLANS F. 1981. Els noms de les plantes als Països Catalans. Editorial Montblanc-Martin. Granollers-Barcelona. España.

- MORAGUES E & RITA J. 2005. Els Vegetals introduïts a les illes Balears. Documents tècnics de conservació IIª època, núm. 11. Govern de les Illes Balears. Conselleria de Medi Ambient.

- MORE D & WHITE J. 2005. Árboles de España y de Europa. Más de 2000 especies y cultivares. Ediciones Omega. Barcelona.

- MUS M. 1993. Plans de Conservació dels vegetals amenaçats de Balears. II. Menorca. Documents Tècnics de Conservació nº 15 19 i 20. Govern Balear. Conselleria d’Agricultura i Pesca. Direcció General d’Estructures Agràries i Medi Ambient. Servei de Conservació de la Naruralesa. Palma de Mallorca.

- PLA, V.; SASTRE, M. i LLORENS, Ll. 1992. Aproximació al catàleg de la flora vascular de les Illes Balears. Universitat de les Illes Balears. Jardí Botànic de Sóller. Palma de Mallorca

- POLUNIN, O. 1977. Guia de campo de las flores de Europa. Ed. Omega. Barcelona.

- RITA, J. CARULLA, J. 1996. Arbres i arbusts de les Balears. Ed. Ferran Sintes. Palma de Mallorca.

- ROSSELLÓ, J. A. & SÁEZ, LL. 2001. Collectanea Botanica. Ed. Institut Botànic Institut de Cultura - Ajuntament de Barcelona. Barcelona

- SÁEZ, LL. & ROSSELLÓ, J. A. 2001. Llibre Vermell de la Flora Vascular de les Illes Balears. Servei de Biodiversitat. Conselleria de Medi Ambient. Govern de les Illes Balears. Palma de Mallorca.

- SANZ M, DANA E, SOBRINO E. 2004. Plantas Alóctonas Invasoras en España. Ministerio de Medio Ambiente. Madrid.

- TUTIN T.G. et al. 1976-1993. Flora Europaea. Vol. I-IV. Cambridge University press. U.K.

- VICENS, G. BONET, B. 2000. La flora de la Serra de Tramuntana. Palma de Mallorca.

- WALTERS et al. 1990-2000. The European garden Flora. (Vol. I-VI). Cambridge University Press. U.K.

We would appreciate your suggestions or report of any possible mistake found in this work.

Patrocinador: Fundació Sa Nostra