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Jardin Botanico Canario 'Viera Y Clavijo'

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Seven km from the Capital of Gran Canaria – Las Palmas – is the beautiful and 27 hectare (the largest in Spain) botanic garden at Tafira Alta. The garden is owned by the local Government of the Canaries, and is devoted to the study and conservation of Canarian Flora. Entrance is free.

Within the Islands of the Macaronese there are about 2000 plant species, of which more than 500 are endemic to the Islands. Great Britain is 34 times larger than the Canaries, yet we have only 1600 ‘wild’ plant species of which only about 15 are truly endemic.

We visited the gardens last week, with an excellent French guide – Valerie and a German couple. We all shared an excellent picnic that Valerie brought along, and after we finished at the garden she took us to see a magnificent Volcanic Crater….another blog perhaps.

Our guide Valerie (Botanist, Gardener and Conservationist)

Much of the garden is laid out on the side of a hill. You arrive at the top and wind your way down taking care as the drop is pretty steep! Lovely views of the other side of the valley though…

And of course, the landscape is volcanic, so there are lots of very interesting geological formations to admire…

Dracaena – Dragon Trees are planted throughout the garden and they are fascinating. They divide their trunks about every 8 years so you can tell the age of the trees by counting how many divisions it has.

As well as some excellent palms as you would expect…

This Palm is Pritchardia Munroi, an extremely rare Palm tree, which has been saved from extinction by the collaboration of this Botanic Garden and the Waimea Arboretum of Hawai, where there was only one surviving example. It makes you realise just how important the work of Botanic Gardens is…..

I am fascinated by the succulent Euphorbias, of which they have a magnificent collection, some of which are huge! How to tell the difference between a euphorbia and a cactus?….well, look at the flower. The flower of the euphorbia is relatively insignificant, and has three ‘parts’ to it. The Cactus has much showier and brighter coloured flowers. This is what our guide told us anyway, and it did help me to i.d. the euphorbias and the cacti.

The Islands are covered with these plants in the wild areas and roadsides. These and Echiums seem to be the most common ‘wild flowers’ on both Tenerife and Gran Canaria. But only in the botanic garden will you see specimens this magnificent!

Can you spot the Lizard peeping out from his Den? Pity it was a cool cloudy day as I’ve never seen a lizard this size in the wild before…would have been good to see the rest of him!

Yet another beautiful Euphorbia flower.

A view of part of the succulent garden…

I really love this unusually coloured ‘daisy-like’ plant..

Now, on to the Cacti and succulent pics. Valerie informed me that although large and impressive, the collection is not very interesting botanically. I have to say I found it amazing!

The yellow flowers are of Aloe Vera…Callistemon on the left of the picture.

Some of the Cacti…

Pachypodium Geayi..

And now for something completely different…the Koi ponds and waterfall are the newest addition to the garden and are right at the very end…

Blue, white and yellow are the most common colours of the local flora…

Teucrium Heterophyllum subsp. bevipilosum

Flowering Aeoniums

Roots of Ficus Socotrana

The beautiful soft Canarian Pine tree once covered huge areas of the Island. They are trying now to re-establish areas of long-lost forestation.

A reconstruction of the ancient meeting place..the Tagoror…

Explanation of the Tagoror….

This blog has only shown you a little of what this amazing garden has to offer…proving that the Canary Islands are not just about sea, sun and sangria….

I hope you enjoyed our visit, and have been inspired to seek out a botanic garden next time you are travelling! Thanks for looking, Karen :)

More blog posts by karensusan63

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Comments

 

I really like that white and purple daisy and that euphorbia; the area around the pond is very pretty

3 Apr, 2012

 

Thanks for showing us around Karen, that's a wonderful blog so full of great pics, i bet Hywel would love to see that lot....

3 Apr, 2012

 

Wow - wonderful Karen!

3 Apr, 2012

 

Fasinating place Karen, so much to see.
Thanks for the blog.

3 Apr, 2012

 

Thats a grand day out Karen, your pics and all the info you have provided are fascinating, I agree Hywel would be in his element.
Thankyou for sharing, its lovely...

3 Apr, 2012

 

Great blog Karen and so informative. Isnt it nice to see how well native plants grow in their own homeland. I particularly liked the aeoniums. Thats exactly how I would like mine to look ....in my dreams!

3 Apr, 2012

 

Thanks Karen, very good blog, enjoyed looking at your pics.

4 Apr, 2012

 

Thank you everyone! :)

4 Apr, 2012

 

Very interesting and lots of plants with unusual colour I love that daisy very unusual to have a purple centre. Loved your blog thanks Karen.

4 Apr, 2012

 

I loved that daisy Mum...I wish I could remember the name of it, but it probably only grows in sub-tropical climes anyway.

4 Apr, 2012

 

I have been to the Canaries many times. When I was younger it was sun, sand and sangria then I had Ella and Jamie to entertain. I need to revisit lots of places now to have a good look around. It looks like an amazing place to spend the day Karen. No photos of your new friends then? Lol

4 Apr, 2012

 

love the unusual daisy to karen, great blog and interesting to, lots of lovely photos, wish i had done this when i went there, hope you had a good time :o))

4 Apr, 2012

 

It was ok San. We chose badly with the hotel I'm afraid. Nothing wrong with it at all, just not right for us..full of buggies and small children and piped lift music and entertainers etc. I felt like I needed to get home for some peace and quiet. I think if I ever go back to the Canaries I shall wait until later in the year and go to the north of the Islands where all the older places are. The south is so over-developed and ruined in my opinion. I'm like you, I need nature.

4 Apr, 2012

 

Annie, I do have a photo of my 'new friends' but funnily enought, their backs are turned to me! ;)..strange that...

4 Apr, 2012

 

Lol!

4 Apr, 2012

 

What an amazing place Karen, wouldn't swap for British landscape though:-) That purple centred white daisy looks like a cross between echinacea and osteospermum doesn't it:-)

6 Apr, 2012

 

It reminded me of Michelmas daisy BA...I thought it very beautiful :) Thanks! Agree with you about our landscape...the best in the world for variety and sheer gorgeousness!

6 Apr, 2012

 

I don't suppose you found out the name? Ah well...a rose by any other name...is beautiful:-))

7 Apr, 2012

 

No, sorry, she did tell me but I totally forgot it. :(

7 Apr, 2012

 

Very disappointed in you Karen;-)

7 Apr, 2012

 

;) sorry!

7 Apr, 2012

 

Wow... that must have been a wonderful place to visit and take pics. Thanks for the tour :o)

9 Apr, 2012

 

It was quite something TT. Glad you enjoyed it. Glad you are feeling better and back with us again :)

9 Apr, 2012

 

:o)))

9 Apr, 2012

 

I really enjoyed the tour round these gardens, Karen and loved seeing the Dragon Trees ... I seem to remember us taking a guided tour and being allowed to photograph a Dragon tree which was cordoned off to stop tourists touching it! ... Could the 'Daisy type' flower be a Pericallis papyracea? ... It featured on a postcard at the time of our visit and I sent lots of them back home .. lol!

13 Apr, 2012

 

lol...brilliant Shirley! So glad you remember it!

13 Apr, 2012

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