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Visit Exotic Flora of the Canary Islands is a recommended reference book

Updated on February 3, 2012

A book about the exotic plants of Tenerife

Visit Exotic Flora of the Canary Islands is an excellent book by Juan Alberto Rodriguez Pérez all about the tropical and sub-tropical species of plants found on Tenerife and the other Canary Islands. It is the second book in a two-book series coupled with Visit Native Flora of the Canary Islands, and both are published by Editorial Everest S.A.in English, Spanish and German.

If like me you are fascinated by plants when you first arrive in Tenerife or any of the other islands you will be amazed by all the incredible wealth of flowers, trees, shrubs, cacti and succulents that will delight your eyes.

One of the best ways to identify them is to get yourself a good book on the subject and I can personally recommend this one as a good place to start.

Visit Exotic Flora of the Canary Islands

Visit Exotic Flora of the Canary Islands book cover
Visit Exotic Flora of the Canary Islands book cover

Tropical plants found on Tenerife

Bird of Paradise flower. Photo by Steve Andrews
Bird of Paradise flower. Photo by Steve Andrews
Tulip Tree. Photo by Steve Andrews
Tulip Tree. Photo by Steve Andrews

Exotic flora described

Visit Exotic Flora of the Canary Islands has 192 pages but is small enough to fit easily in a large pocket or in a bag so is easy to carry with you on your travels around the islands. It is indispensable if you are visiting any of the botanic gardens such as El Botánico in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife.

The book has excellent colour photos to help you identify the flowers, trees and shrubs you will come across. Descriptions say where the plants came from originally, what they look like, what times of year they are in flower and any other useful information. For example, if a tree or bush has edible fruit or can be used in herbal medicine this will be noted.

Many tropical plants and sub-tropical species were brought to Tenerife and the other Canary Islands because of the excellent climate all year round which means that a very great variety of plants from around the world can be found growing in them.

Besides parks and gardens there are countless flower and shrub borders that help beautify the towns, cities, resorts and along road-sides. Tropical trees and shrubs as well as flowering plants and cacti and succulents are often planted in these for their ornamental value.

Many tropical trees such as the Papaya, the Guava and Avocado are commonly planted for their edible fruit. Many of the banana plantations and farms around the islands grow these fruit trees too, and the Mango is another popular tree found cultivated.

Tenerife has its own native palm tree, the Canary Island date palm (Phoenix canariensis) but you will see many other species of palms from around the world growing on the islands.

Other tropical trees that will catch your eye are such beauties as the blue-purple-blossomed Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia), the flaming scarlet-red Poinciana (Delonix regia), the magnificent Tulip Tree (Spathodea campanulata) and the bright yellow-flowered Gorgeous Senna (Cassia spectabilis).

Massive trees such as those in the rubber tree, fig and banyan family are grown on the islands and the El Botánico botanical gardens in Puerto de la Cruz has a magnificent specimen of an Australian Banyan or Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla).

Many other exotic flowers are widely cultivated on the islands and include the Bird of Paradise Flower (Strelitzia reginae). This species is often found on sale from nurseries and garden centres, as well as as cut flowers.

Bougainvillea photo

Bougainvillea spectabilis. Photo by Steve Andrews
Bougainvillea spectabilis. Photo by Steve Andrews

Vines and climbing plants

Tenerife and the other Canary Islands are home to many exotic climbers and vines too. There are incredible displays of Bougainvilleas in shades of purple, white and salmon-pink. This rambling plant often covers walls as does the Flame Vine (Pyrostegia venusta).

The Golden Cup has massive yellow flowers in the shape and colour described in its name. These climbing plants and many more are described in Visit Exotic Flora of the Canary Islands.

With all the many ornamental and exotic plants growing on the islands it makes good sense to find a plant book to help you identify the ones you see and this little volume is one that can help you do just that.

Copyright © 2011 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

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