A varied and mainly gentle walk in Anaga from Mirador Jardina

The view from the Mirador Jardina, with the Canary endemic marguerite, Argyranthemum broussonetii in the foreground

The view from the Mirador Jardina, with the Canary endemic marguerite, Argyranthemum broussonetii in the foreground

We like to do some walks in Anaga when the weather is good, and had not done one so far this winter. However, last Wednesday, February 12th, we decided the forecast was just about alright for a walk there.  This walk was ideal for this time of year as it combined some walking in the laurel forest with some out of forest on the south side, where there were a lot of flowers to see. It also featured some spectacular views.

The narrow footpath initially passes through prickly pears and brambles, but with great views

The narrow footpath initially passes through prickly pears and brambles, but with great views

We started the walk from the Mirador Jardina which is on a bend in the main road between Las Canteras and Cruz de Carmen. The walk was a figure of eight, so we visited twice a crossing of paths on a ridge, and walked all four of the paths joining there. We left the Mirador on a track on the southern side, and continued down it for about 700m, by which time it was tarmac. Along the edge of the track, on a low cliff, I spotted some Canarian shrubby plantain (Plantago arborescens), which was flowering, so it is easy to see how it is a plantain, even though the leaves and habit is so different from the common species. There were also examples of the Canary endemic marguerite which is common in the laurel forest, Argyranthemum broussonetii, with its large daisy flowers and large soft leaves.

The slope above the track was covered with the yellow flowers of the ubiquitous Bermuda buttercup, (Oxalis pes-caprae) between bushes of Tree heath (Erica arborea), which were in flower beside the road. We left the track on a bend, joining a narrow footpath going left.

Canarian shrubby plantain (Plantago arborescens) beside the track

Canarian shrubby plantain (Plantago arborescens) beside the track

The footpath hugged a slope with views down to the Tahodio reservoir, the sea, and the knife edge ridges running down to the sea from the central ridge. Then it reached a lookout point before plunging into deep laurel forest. Springing from the forest floor were some large arrow-shaped leaves, with a few odd-looking, striped and hooded flowers hiding beneath them. These were Arisarum simorrhinum, which has no English name that I know, but one of its many local names is Candil. They are worth looking for if you see the leaves.

The Tahodio reservoir in the valley below the first bit  of footpath

The Tahodio reservoir in the valley below the first bit of footpath

Soon we were delighted as we started to see lots of Canary bellflowers (Canarina canariensis) with their beautiful orange flowers, and also some purple cineraria flowers, (Pericallis echinata) brightening up the forest floor. The path began to climb, still in forest, towards our highest point of the walk, Pico del Inglés. We came out on a road near the crest of the central ridge where we saw in flower a beautiful bush of the Canary endemic Gesnouinia arborea, which again I do not know an English name for. However, its spanish name is Ortigón de los Montes, or Mountain nettle, since it is of that family.

Canary endemic Canarian bellflower (Canarina canariensis)

Canary endemic Canarian bellflower (Canarina canariensis)

We had to walk a little way along this quiet road, till we reached the Mirador Pico del Inglés, where we were glad to see a yellow/white liveried signpost for our path, as it was difficult to see, plunging downhill beside the Mirador. It zig-zagged down, passing an abandoned building and continuing along a ridge, going downhill all the way. There were some very luxuriant ferns, and several clumps of the little green Two-leaved orchid, Gennaria diphylla. Half-way down the slope we met the path junction at the waist of our figure-of-eight, and continued down on the left-hand path.

 

Ortigón de los Montes -literally Mountain nettle - Canary endemic (Gesnouinia arborea)

Ortigón de los Montes -literally Mountain nettle – Canary endemic (Gesnouinia arborea)

After a long descent under laurels and tree heaths the path broke out into the open with another fabulous view, and immediately, more flowers. The highlights were the rich blue spires of the Tenerife vipers bugloss (Echium virescens), and the yellow broom-like flowers on the Canary whin (Teline canariensis). The path wound around above the small village of Catalanes and passed beneath a dramatic cliff, at the foot of which were patches of colourful flowers.

The path descending from Pico del Ingles under trees, brightened up in places by the Anaga sow-thistle (Sonchus congests)

The path descending from Pico del Ingles under trees, brightened up in places by the Anaga sow-thistle (Sonchus congestus)

After the cliff the path began turning to the right, reached a junction near an old house, and we continued to the right around the nose of the ridge to reach a couple more houses, behind which we started to ascend the ridge again. This stretch had fabulous views towards Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where we could see the port, and the Auditorium with its unusual roof. There was also a great view towards Teide.

Bermuda buttercups (Oxalis pes-caprae) brighten the view where we emerged from forest above Las Catalanes.

Bermuda buttercups (Oxalis pes-caprae) brighten the view where we emerged from forest above Las Catalanes.

As we climbed the ridge, we entered the trees again, and reached the path crossroads again, where we went left, descending a path somewhat eroded by bikes, after a while we left the main path onto a minor path going right. This bit was a bit overgrown, and at times we fought our way through. However the path was well-walked and we were in no danger of losing it, and as time went on, where it entered the deeper shade of laurel trees, it improved. In this area we saw many of the distinctive seven-fingered leaves of the Canary arum lily (Dracunculus canariensis). However, it was too early for the huge white spathes that accompany the flowers.

Dramatic cliff above and blue-flowered Tenerife vipers bugloss (Echium virescens) beside the path

Dramatic cliff above and blue-flowered Tenerife vipers bugloss (Echium virescens) beside the path

Climbing gently in the forest we finally rejoined the first path we had taken, and we returned on it to the track, and then the Mirador where we started. A dramatic and flower-filled excursion which we all thorougly enjoyed.

A patch of purple Cineraria (Pericallis echinata) with yellow-flowered Canary fennel (Ferula linkii) in their midst situated in a shady spot at the foot of the cliff

A patch of purple Cineraria (Pericallis echinata) with yellow-flowered Canary fennel (Ferula linkii) in their midst situated in a shady spot at the foot of the cliff

The walk was about 12 km / 7.5 miles long, with about 580m of climbing and descent, and took us 4 hours 40 minutes. Our thanks to Wikiloc contributor nacho1951 for sharing the GPS track to such a lovely walk. You can find his track on this link:

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=5154537

Canary whin (Teline canariensis)

Canary whin (Teline canariensis)

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About Sally Whymark

When I retired and moved out to Tenerife a few years ago, one of the things I really wanted to do was go walking in the mountains. The scenery is very dramatic, and varied. The views are amazing. The native birds and butterflies and other fauna are remarkable. But the flowers - they're just stunning. Little did I know how this would fire up my interest in plants. While living in England, I had always had an interest in flowers and plants, indeed I ran a plant nursery with my husband for many years, but had not spent a great deal of time pursuing botany. But when walking in Tenerife, I noticed all the unfamiliar shapes of the local flowers, and longed to find out more about them. There are literally hundreds of species endemic to just Tenerife (or even just one part of it), the Canary Islands, or Macronesia (the Atlantic Islands, including Madeira, Canaries and Azores). They are so exciting, and so many of them are really showy as well. So I have started this blog to share with you my excitement at all the great sights I see when walking in Tenerife. I hope you'll enjoy it - and want to come here and experience it for yourself.

Posted on February 18, 2014, in Anaga, Botanical interest, Walks in Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The wild flowers are looking lush after the cool, damp winter months. You inspired me to find my own booklet ‘Plants and Flowers of Tenerife’, published years ago, now out of print. I guess the best reference book for the Canaries is still Bramwell?

  2. Yes, I use Bramwell a lot. It is good for all the endemics, but lacks the other species. I also use http://www.floradecanarias.com to see other photos of the same species.

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