Flower Power in Tenerife
Exploring Tenerife you will discover a magical variety of vegetation. This variety is a happy happenstance that has come about as a result of microclimates created by the difference in altitude across the island, leading to the formation of multiple ecosystems. From barren deserts to sub-tropical forests, Mediterranean landscapes to mountain pines, Tenerife is the gift that keeps on giving.
The island has six specific ecosystems at different altitudes including the Pine Forests, High Mountain, Laurel Forests and Canary Island spurges and tabaibas. Here are some highlights from different ecosystems you should look out for on your trip to Tenerife.
A Riot of Colour
The delicate Teide violet is common in Tenerife, often found blossoming at high altitudes. Its flowers come in a variety of colours but most often are a pretty violet or mauve with a splash of yellow in the centre. Another colourful species is the striking Red bugloss. This cone-shaped plant can grow up to two metres high and is covered in tiny red flowers during the spring. My final vivid favourite is the Flixweed. Spreading across much of Tenerife’s barren landscape, spring adorns the bush with bright yellow flowers bringing life to the volcanic wasteland.
The Weird and Wonderful
The dragon tree is an iconic symbol of the island, with closely pack branches topped with spikey bushels of leaves. There are some dragon trees on the island said to be hundreds of years old and their sap is thought to have medicinal properties. The Canarian pine is famous for other reasons, primarily its ability to withstand fire. The trees can thank their thick bark for their longevity. These tall trees are easily spotted in the mountains of the island and are endemic to Tenerife.
The laurel forests are a must-see for any nature-lovers visiting the island. These forests can be found in the mountains and were once common all over Africa, taking visitors back to a prehistoric time. The laurel forests contain many species of plants including, of course, laurels, along with heaths, willows, lichens, fayas and wild orange trees.
Where to Stay
We recommend staying at the peaceful Tigaiga during your holiday in Tenerife. This welcoming, family-run hotel has impeccable standards and a full range of amenities including a sauna, freshwater pool, comfortable lounge and bar. The gardens reveal panoramic views of the Orotava Valley and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Tigaiga is known for the splendid sub-tropical gardens surrounding the hotel. These gardens are part of the establishment’s efforts towards sustainable tourism. With over 200 species of catalogued plants, an evening walk in the grounds is both fascinating and instructive.