A walk from Tajao on the south coast of Tenerife

Rocks in the barranco near the beginning of the walk showing the varied geology.

Rocks in the barranco near the beginning of the walk showing the varied geology. The grass plant in front of the boulder is the very invasive introduced plant, Pennisetum setaceum.

I did this walk with a group of friends two weeks ago on the 2nd April. We decided to do a walk near the coast as the weather was a bit uncertain, and there were black clouds up the hills. So we thought we would explore the area inland from Tajao, as we had not walked there before. By walking near the coast we managed to avoid rain except for a few tiny drops at our highest point, and we saw an abundance of flowers, some endemic, others native and many ruderals and introduced species mainly from Europe.

Fagonia albiflora is widespread near the coast

Fagonia albiflora is widespread near the coast

Polycarpaea nivea is also a widespread coastal plant

Polycarpaea nivea is also a widespread coastal plant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven’t posted about this walk before as we saw so many flowers that I still have not identified all of them in the few spare minutes that I have had. However, I thought I had got names for enough of them to make a post now, to share with interested friends.

Canary Volutaria (Volutaria canariensis) A widespread annual growing to about 2 ft / 60cm high. It is a Canary endemic

Canary Volutaria (Volutaria canariensis) A widespread annual growing to about 2 ft / 60cm high. It is a Canary endemic

I am not going to describe the walk as it was not the most inspiring walk I’ve done, and am not likely to do it again myself, since it passed through a quarry, where the track we were on disappeared, then having gained another track on a ridge we looked across at what turned out to be a landfill site! Further on we passed a solar farm, and an intensive animal farm with modern sheds and silos, though we could not see what animals it housed. So it was not the most scenic walk I have done in Tenerife, but it did have its moments, and it also passed through several areas of natural basal zone vegetation which were interesting.

 

Canary rock rose (Helianthemum canariense) is a canary endemic which likes open rocky sites in the basal zone.

Canary rock rose (Helianthemum canariense) is a canary endemic which likes open rocky sites in the basal zone.

 

 

We were following a track we had downloaded from Wikiloc contributed by the user “Rutas de Tenerife” which you will find at the following link: http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=4025346

 

A view of the typical natural vegetation on a rocky ridge at about 100m altitude

A view of the typical natural vegetation on a rocky ridge at about 100m altitude

 

 

 

 

However, be warned. We lost our way in the quarry where recent work appeared to have destroyed the path we were following, and we also lost our way halfway down the descent, in an area of loose rocks which was difficult to walk on without a path.

 

Mataperros (Ceropegia fusca) with its odd-shaped red flowers

Mataperros (Ceropegia fusca) with its odd-shaped red flowers

 

The plants that are illustrated are relatively common near the coast in the south of the island, so I hope it will interest you on walks in the south even though this walk was not the most recommended!

 

Canary bird's foot trefoil (Lotus sessilifolius) is the coastal species of this group

Canary bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus sessilifolius) is the coastal species of this group

 

 

 

 

 

Volutaria tubuliflora is an annual which is a more widespread (non endemic) species of Volutaria. They are related to the knapweeds.

Volutaria tubuliflora is an annual which is a more widespread (non endemic) species of Volutaria. They are related to the knapweeds.

 

 

 

 

 

A view into a nearby barranco

A view into a nearby barranco

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flowers of the Canary spurge (Euphorbia canariensis)

The flowers of the Canary spurge (Euphorbia canariensis)

 

 

 

Parentucellia latifolia (syn Bartsia latifolia) a semi-parasitic annual seen on the track

Ajuga iva seen on the track

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reseda scoparia a Canary endemic of the mignonette family which is fairly common in the basal zone

Reseda scoparia a Canary endemic of the mignonette family which is fairly common in the basal zone

A typical view of the vegetation in the rocky part of the descent, with a Mataperros, (Ceropegia fusca) in the foreground (grey stick-like), Balo (Plocama pendula) the drooping shrub behind, Bitter spurge (Euphorbia lamarckii) the yellowing bush to its right, and Cardón (Euphorbia canariensis) the candlesticks behind.

A typical view of the vegetation in the rocky part of the descent, with a Mataperros, (Ceropegia fusca) in the foreground (grey stick-like), Balo (Plocama pendula) the drooping shrub behind, Bitter spurge (Euphorbia lamarckii) the yellowing bush to its right, and Cardón (Euphorbia canariensis) the candlesticks behind.

Frankenia capitata is common near the coast

Frankenia capitata is common near the coast

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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 April 11, 2014, in Botanical interest, South Tenerife, Walks in Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Filip Verloove

    The Parentucellia viscosa record is incorrect. Try Ajuga!

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