Flora of Tenerife

Keypoints

AEONIUM URBICUM
(Crassulacaeae) Bejeque

The genus Aeonium includes over 30 species, almost all are native to the Canary Islands and this species Aeonium Urbicum, is no exception. Its succulent leaves form rosettes at the end of woody stems and the leaves have a redish tinge to ther edges. Aeoniums are known locally as Bejeque, many of the different varieties are easy to recognise thanks to their characteristic succulent leaves and rosettes.

ARGYRANTHEMUM FOENICULACEUM
(Compositae) Margaritas

Similar in appearance to other Argyranthemums, this herbaceous flowering shrub is distinguished by its bonded and gaucious leaves and sturdy stems flowers are yellow with white petals. This variety is endemic to Tenerife. There are several species of Argyranthemums (or dill daisies) which are endemic to Tenerife, including Argyranthemum Frutescens, Argyranthemum Gracile and Argyranthemum Teneriffae.

DRACAENA DRACO
(Dracaenaceae) Drago

The Dragon Tree is an icon of Tenerife, with the oldest and most famous specimen found in Icod de Los Vinos, which is considered by many to be a living fossil. However the Icod Dragon Tree is in fact around 650 years old, its age does not run into millennia as some sources suggest. The tree is characterised by a single or multiple trunk growing up to 12m in height, with a dense umbrella-shaped canopy of thick leaves. Dragon Trees are a protected species where they occur naturally.

ECHIUM WILDPRETII
(Boraginaceae) Tajinaste

The Tajinaste is herbaceous biennial plant that is found in Las Caņadas Caldera around Mount Teide. Growing up to 3 metres tall, the Tajinaste thrives in warm dry conditions, but can tolerate frosts down to -15°C. It flowers from late spring to early summer and is endemic to Tenerife.

ESCHSCHOLZIA CALIFORNICA
(Papaveraceae) California Poppy

Native to the western United States, this beautiful yellow-orange flower prefers hot-wet conditions, hence its commonly found near upland towns on the south side of Tenerife. Most notably Vilaflor where is can be seen in abundance in spring, lining footpaths and growing wild on waste ground.

EUPHORBIA ATROPURPUREA
(Euphorbiaceae) Tabaiba Mejorera

Reaching up to 2 meters in height this plant is found in humid areas between 300m and 1200m and is only found in the south and west parts of Tenerife. Its characterised by bluish green leaves, which form a rosette at the end of the branches. The plant flowers with dark red bracts between December and May.

EUPHORBIA CANARIENSIS
(Euphorbiaceae) Canary Island Spurge (Cardon)

This plant is characteristic of the dry habitat of the lower areas of the island. The Canary Island Spurge, known locally as Cardon can grow up to 4 metres tall, its green, square or pentagonal trunk weeps a toxic milky white latex when cut. Its leaves are reduced to thorns its flowers are green to red.

OPUNTIA FICUS-BARBARICA / OPUNTIA DILLENII
(Cactaceae) Tunera / Penca

The two species of Cactus commonly found on the island are known as O. Ficus-barbarica and O.Dillenii respectively, they are very similar in appearance and both produce prickly pear fruits. O.Dilenii has long ridged spines, arranged in groups of 3, whilst O.Ficus-Barbarica has short fine spines arranged in more numerous groups. They commonly found in waste-ground and near cultivated areas. Both species originate from Mexico.

(Papaver) Corn Poppy/ Flanders Poppy / Red Poppy

Corn Poppies grow wild in Tenerife from mid-to late spring. A recent visit to the Masca Valley found them growing in abundance at the road-side.

Long associated with agriculture the corn poppy can be found anywhere where man has tilled the fields for any length of time. Effectively a weed, it has an annual life-cycle that fits into that of most cereals and the poppy can flower and seed itself before the crop is harvested.

PERICALLIS ECHINATA
(Compositae)

A herbaceous perennial reaching 30-50 centimetres in height with purple daisy-like flowers reaching 2.5 centimetres in diameter.

A member of the daisy/sunflower family it is found in humid areas of the island, this particular photo was taken in the Masca Gorge. The species is endemic to Tenerife.

PINUS CANARIENSIS
(Pinaceae) Canary Island Pine

The Canary Island Pine typically grows 35-40m tall though specimens up to 60m tall have been noted. It enjoys cooler temperatures and can survive in areas with variable rainfall thanks to the should be mist-capturing and needles which condense moisture out of the air. The Canary Island Pine tree is also one of the most fire resistant conifers in the world, affording it great protection against forest fires.

PHOENIX CANARIENSIS
(Palmae) Palmera Canaria

The only endemic species of Palm tree on the island, P. Canariensis is characterised by the tuft of leaves carried by its its long and almost straight trunk. Growing up to 12m high, the Canarian Palm produces small oval fruits similar to dates known as Tamanares. They are edible, but not cultivated.

PRUNUS DULCIS
(Prunoideae) Almond Tree

The almond is a small deciduous tree, growing to between 4 and 10 meters in height. It blossoms in early spring, before sprouting its new leaves and growing its fruit. Technically the almond is not a nut but a dupe (a type of fruit). The fruit matures in autumn 7-8 months after flowering. They are found in abundance in the western uplands of the island.

VIOLA CHEIRANTHIFOLIA
(Violaceae) Teide Violet

The Teide Violet is a rare small flower found exclusively in the stony caldera surrounding Mount Teide and Montaņa Blanca. It survives at between 2000-3000m, in the dry and often cold conditions of Las Caņadas. The Teide violet grows just a few inches tall and due to its small size very hard to spot.

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