I have been reluctant to post photos of the flora I’ve photographed in Lanzarote as I would like to be able to name the plants – despite having three different native flora books on the Canary Islands, many of the species are not listed! I’ve now found a great website Flora de Canarias that will help although, you have to click on the name to see the plant and there are 477 different species listed of the 662 known to grow on the island!
Here are a few of my favourites photos from the Malpaso way in Haría, which is the narrow road that winds up the hill heading towards Teguise, the hillside here changes colour thoughout the year, with the variety of different plant species found growing here.
I have nicknamed this the pink mushroom plant, as that's what the flowers look like to me! The flower is from the Aeonium family, this is currently in flower now (July) but it flowers at least twice a year. One of my books shows a similar plant as Aeonium Urbicum endemic to Tenerife and La Gomera. Manolo’s website does show a similar species but with pink leaves not green known as Aeonium Lancerottense.
Last month (June) the top of the hill particularly around the Mirador of Haría, the landscape was a vivid purple with clusters of thistles, which have now gone to seed.
One of our local friends was exclaiming recently that he had seen a rare plant flowering again in this area of Lanzarote, its quite distinctive as it has an abundance of tiny white flowers but also bright green prickly balls, Manolo has identified it for me as Gomphocarpus Fruticosus and it grows in the Malpaso area and Los Valles.
The hillside also turns yellow with this plant (shown right), I had thought it was Fennel but according to the Native Flora book of the Canary Islands its Apiaceae which translates to Parsley, its tall and grows up to 3m high with distinctive balls of tiny yellow flowers and light fern like leaves – the other point the book makes is that it doesn’t grow in Lanzarote and the leaves can be crushed and applied as a poultice for the treatment of haemorrhoids!
You’ve probably seen these huge plants around the island of Lanzarote (shown left), typically they are in the area of Haría and Los Valles. This very distinctive plant is the Agave Americana, and probably originated from Mexico, they can grow to 8m in height, once flowered the main stem dies. There is a smaller species of the Agave in Lanzarote called the Agave Fourcroydes, which grows to 1.7m and the base still has the sharp spines but smaller and rose pink in colour rather than green.