Sunday, 6 February 2011

Flowers

There were not many plants in flower at this time of year in Lanzarote.  One plant which seemed to be in flower all over the place however, was a small, white-flowered Heliotropium erosum.
Another common plant which had a few flowers adorning it's spiny branches, was the yellow-flowered Launaea arborescens.  The fleshy leaves of this plant make it ideal for coping with the hot, dry conditions of this part of the world.
Closer to the ground was the creeping plant known as Fagonia cretica.  This too has small spines all over it and some rather handsome, small, violet, five-petaled flowers with yellow anthers.  These Fagonias can be found all over the place, sprawling over the volcanic gravel and rocks.
Two non-native species next, starting with a very common tree called an Arboreal Tobacco or Nicotiana glauca.  Native to South America, this has become a very common sight all over the islands as well as the warmer parts of the Southern European mainland, planted as an ornamental tree along streets and roads where the long, yellow, tube-shaped flowers make a good show.
Lastly, a plant which is native to South Africa.  Well known for it's medicinal and cosmetic properties, this is a member of the Aloe family, Aloe arborescens.  This particular species is just as useful as it's more commonly known cousin Aloe vera - which seems to be in everything these days from skin preparations to exotic juice drinks. The bright flowers of this one, make a nice show, planted along the roadsides of Costa Teguise.
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