In springtime “garrigues” are dressed with yellow or mauve dwarf irises and with
majestic asphodels (see picture opposite), the attentive eye will also discover numerous varieties of wild orchid.
Several types of vine are found around Montlaur: Shiraz, Carignan, Grenache Noir.
Fennel : used in cooking and pharmaceutics.
Rosemary : grows in stone soils, a bee’s delight!
Thyme : once brewed, it is recommended against cold and stomach ache.
Juniper : strong smell, vine grafts were rubbed with it as a rabbit-deterrent.
Olive trees : Lucques variety olive is the best green olive, only cultivated in the region.
Fig-trees, growing white or black figs.
Aleppo pine whose seeds (“pignons”) are edible.
Cypress trees : evergreen conifers often planted in hedges as a wind barrier.
Evergreen oak trees.
White poplar trees.
Willow trees in humid areas.
Broom shrubs : spiny and fragrant.
Lamb’s lettuce picked in the vineyards, olive tree farms from January to April.
Hardy lettuce : tasty salad from March to April.
Dandelion : diuretic plant.
The district is not mushroom country, however, the following mushrooms can be found in the pinewoods and forests:
- Field mushroom, found on high meadows and pastures.
- Black poplar mushroom, in tufts on poplar stumps.
- Saffron milk cap, in pinewood, the most popular.
- Parasol mushroom.
- Gray knight cap.
- Common chantarelle.
- Umbel oyster mushroom, parasite of the blue thistle.
NB: Mount Alaric is a natural zone of ecological interest by its biodiversity (listed as a “ZNIEFF”: Zone Naturelle d’Intérêt Ecologique Faunistique et Floristique) which plays an important role in bird conservation (listed as a “ZICO”: Zone Importante pour la Conservation des Oiseaux).