A stroll in the Teide National Park to see the fantastic endemic flowers

A group of Teide Vipers Bugloss - Tajinaste rojo - (Echium wildpretii) on the slope of the caldera wall

A group of Teide Vipers Bugloss – Tajinaste rojo – (Echium wildpretii) on the slope of the caldera wall

This is to let all my readers know, to hurry up to the National Park in the next 2-3 weeks to enjoy the festival of flowers there at the moment. Yes the Teide Viper’s Bugloss, or Tajinastes rojos, (Echium wildpretii) are out already, even though it’s earlier than usual. There is also a fantastic display of Mountain wallflowers, Alhelí, (Erysimum scoparium), and Teide catmint, Tonática, (Nepeta teydea) on the slopes around Boca de Tauce which were affected by the forest fire in 2012. I have never seen such a profusion of colourful flowers in that area as there is this year.

Mountain wallflower - Alheli - (Erysimum scoparium)

Mountain wallflower – Alheli – (Erysimum scoparium)

And for those of you who are not great walkers, or who have friends who are not, this short walk will get you up close to the plants without walking very far, or on very rough surfaces, but far enough from the road to be able to enjoy it.

My friends and I parked at the Mirador which is between Km 3 and Km 4 on the road from Chio to Boca de Tauce, the TF-38. It is the mirador which looks up at the Narices del Teide (Teide’s nostrils) on Pico Viejo. From the parking area we crossed the road and took a path which runs behind the crash barrier for a few yards and then turns away. It heads first in a northerly direction and then wanders through the lava towards the west and finally ends up heading south and eventually joins a track at the foot of the caldera wall. This path is on lava and is mostly comprised of small lava pebbles, so not the most comfortable walking surface. If the roughness of the path bothers you, instead of taking the path from directly opposite the parking at the Mirador, walk down the road towards Boca de Tauce (roughly south) for about 300m till you see a track on the right, which you take. Walk towards the caldera wall and there you meet where the path joins the track.

Teide catmint (Nepeta teydea)

Teide catmint (Nepeta teydea)

At the bend in the track where the path joins, you start to see the flowers. Initially some Escobon plants (Chaemacytisus proliferus) with white broom-like flowers, a canary endemic widely used for animal fodder. Continuing further, past a rocky part of the caldera wall, the slope opens out on the right and the Tajinastes begin, accompanied by Mountain wallflowers. Continue on the track, past an open sandy area which is underlain by ‘ropey’ lava, and continue up a slight slope on the track to another area on the right with lots of Tajinastes, mixed with Mountain wallflowers, Teide catmint and Mountain figwort (Scrophularia glabrata). On the left are also some bright yellow Sticky Broom flowers or Codeso del monte, (Adenocarpus viscosus) making a contrasting colour.

The slope of the caldera wall covered in pines and Mountain wallflower giving a beautiful mauve haze

The slope of the caldera wall covered in pines and Mountain wallflower giving a beautiful mauve haze

You could then turn around and retrace your steps, but if you fancy a longer walk, continue up the track to a bend, where a signposted footpath goes to the left. If you follow that footpath along the foot of the caldera wall, and for one section, on the lava, you will see more flowers, including a whole slope covered in Teide catmint with a haze of deep purple up the slope. You will arrive at the National Park information post near to Boca de Tauce in the building called Casa Juan Evora. You can then either return the same way, or walk back on the road (not really recommended). Of course, if you planned in advance you could organise one car at each end.

Flowers of the Sticky broom - Codeso del monte - (Adenocarpus viscous)

Flowers of the Sticky broom – Codeso del monte – (Adenocarpus viscous)

The walk my friends and I did was just over 6 km (both there and back) and we took 2.5 hours. It could have been considerably less, but we were stopping a lot, looking at the flowers and taking photos. If you extend the walk to Boca de Tauce as suggested the walk in both directions will add up to between 8.5 and 10 km depending whether you take the path or track at the beginning and end.

More Teide Vipers Bugloss - Tajinaste rojo - with Mountain wallflowers - Alheli

More Teide Vipers Bugloss – Tajinaste rojo – with Mountain wallflowers – Alheli

Enjoy the floral spectacle!

Teide Marguerite -margarita del Teide - (Argyranthemum teneriffae) in the lava beside the road

Teide Marguerite -margarita del Teide – (Argyranthemum teneriffae) in the lava beside the road

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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 30, 2015, in Botanical interest, Teide National Park, Teide National Park, Walks in Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Sally, we were in that area just last week and, yes, I agree, the display of Erysimum is one of the best I’ve ever seen!

  2. Hello Sally

    This e-mail arrived in my inbox the day we arrived back on the island, Thursday. We took your word for it and did the walk today.

    It was great advice as we were astounded by the quantity of all of them. Well worth the visit in the glorious sunshine as well. Thank you for the tip.

    David Gale.

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