The Canary Islands have a great natural attraction. The great diversity of the whole territory is a product of its climate and its incredible fauna and flora. In this article of the Lopesan Group Blog, we want to show you the most curious plants of the Canary Islands, which are extremely attractive and interesting to study. Let’s go with it!
As we know, man’s own actions, in addition to pollution, mean that the survival of natural spaces requires special protection and consideration.
In this article we have prepared just for you, we will explore some endemic plants of the Canary Islands, in order to appreciate their value as unique species that connect us with this wonderful environment.
When we talk about endemism, we are referring to species, plants or animals, which are limited to a specific geographical area. The task of conserving the typical plants of the Canary Islands is a very important one, that requires the collaboration of locals and visitors to the area.
Here are 8 of the island’s endemic plants for you to discover on your next holiday:
We begin this list of Canary Island plants with this rare endemic species. There are two varieties of it: in Gran Canaria we find the schizogynophylla Svent. Et Kaen type. The other variety, can be found on the island of Lanzarote.
This 50 cm shrub is characterized by its 2 to 4 cm linear leaves. These leaves have a rigid structure and silvery tones, with thorns and pink or white flowers. There are very few specimens in the wild. However, an excellent sample can be found in the Canarian Botanical Garden “Viera y Clavijo”.
It is one of the best known plants of the Canary Islands, although it is very rare. The Moya crested cockscomb is a shrub that can reach a metre in height, with simple, lance-shaped, serrated-edged leaves of about 15 cm and a beautiful dark green colour.
Its flowers are the most characteristic and beautiful feature of this plant, as they reach 20 cm in length and have a striking dark red or copper tone. The flowering of this type of plant, endemic to the Canary Islands, takes place from May to June and its fruits are borne until August.
Among the plants of the Canary Islands, the Mayflower is one of the most common. It is a herbaceous plant that can reach a height of 80 cm.
It has slender, highly branched, dark purple stems. The leaves are small and form a sort of sphere where, when in flower, they are arranged in inflorescences of about 20 small flowers. The tones of these flowers have a beautiful violet colour that will not go unnoticed to your eyes.
This is one of the Canary Island plants that is in danger of extinction, due to overgrazing, traditional uses and even predation by rabbits. It is a bush type leguminous plant that can grow up to 5 metres in height.
This plant flowers from autumn to mid-winter, and its fruits are borne between January and March. Once the fruits ripen, the plant begins to lose its leaves.
This is one of the most characteristic endemic plants of the Canary Islands, both on the island of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. It is a shrub about 4 metres high, with green tones, very branched, with greyish-brown colours.
Unlike other plant species endemic to the Canary Islands, this type has been steadily increasing. Nowadays, it can be found in many areas, especially in rocky soils. If you dare to go hiking in Gran Canaria, you are sure to come across it.
Its flowers are a striking yellow colour and are used in various traditional medicinal treatments. However, its harvesting is currently prohibited.
This is another of the endemic plants of the Canary Islands that can be found on almost all the islands, except Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. The strawberry tree is a tree that can reach heights of up to 15 metres.
Among the features of this plant, we can highlight its leaves, which are elongated, about 15 centimetres long and lance-shaped. The flowers of this tree are bell-shaped and can show shades of pale green to white. The fruits, in turn, are fleshy and orange, and are also edible.
The Jarilla turmera is another typical Canary Island shrub-like plant, which can grow up to 30 centimetres high and is easy to identify because of its dense branching and grey bark.
Its leaves also have a greenish-grey tone. Its scarce flowering occurs between winter and spring, showing sometimes solitary pieces all over the bush. The most beautiful and outstanding feature of these flowers is their pale yellow colour.
In the Canary Islands there is a great variety of Tajinastes in different shades, ranging from white to blue and even red. The red variety is very particular and attractive, due to the striking colour of its red rosettes.
The species of red Tajinaste can reach up to 3 metres in height. Among the curiosities of this specimen, it is also known as Sangre del Teide and its scientific name comes from the Swiss horticulturist Hermann Wildpret.
He was a botanist of the Botanical Garden of La Orotava in Tenerife and promoter of other parks and gardens in the Canary archipelago. Nowadays, it can also be seen on the summits of Gran Canaria, although it is native to the neighbouring island of Tenerife.
After reading this article, on your next visit you will be able to distinguish the endemic plants of the Canary Islands while hiking, and marvel at this important part of the beauty and richness of the island’s flora.
From the Lopesan Group, we encourage you to explore Gran Canaria and stay in our magnificent hotels, don’t miss out!
Images sourced from: https://endemicascanarias.com/