Here be dragons

Previously on Bagging Botanic Gardens: Maspalomas et al.Wisley, Brussels, Down House, Much Else Besides.

The minute I found out there was a botanic garden in the north of Gran Canaria as well, a return visit became inevitable.

The Jardín Botánico Canario “Viera y Clavijo” is in the outskirts of Las Palmas, and is much larger than its Maspaloman sibling. As well as showcasing a Canary Island pine woodland, it also has a impressive path carved into the side of the cliff that overlooks the site. This affords splendid views across the gardens – assuming you can stomach them.

Jardin Canario [CC-BY-SA-4.0 Steve Cook]

Jardín Canario: view across the gardens from the aptly named “steep stairs” of the cliff-side path

The cliff-side path is planted with lots of native flora, including the endemic maple-leaved mallow (Lavatera acerifolia):

Lavatera acerifolia [CC-BY-SA-4.0 Steve Cook]

Lavatera acerifolia

haresfoot ferns (Davallia canariensis):

Davallia canariensis growing epiphytically on a palm [CC-BY-SA-4.0 Steve Cook]

Davallia canariensis growing epiphytically on a palm

and especially, a whole weyr of dragon-trees (Dracaena draco):

Dracaena draco pathway [CC-BY-SA-4.0 Steve Cook]

Dracaena draco – dragon-tree pathway

Entry is free!

Botanerd highlights: the cactus and succulent garden is fantastic. It is large, and has many mature specimens of cactuses, Euphorbia, Pachypodium, and even a Madagascan Alluaudia.  Some of the specimens are vast: this Pachycerus weberi is about 8 m high, and many of the Euphorbia are similarly imposing.

Pachycereus weberi [CC-BY-SA-4.0 Steve Cook]

Long-suffering husband with Pachycereus weberi cactus for scale

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